BBA - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids (v.1851, #8)

Preface to the Special Issue on brain lipids by Anthony H. Futerman (997-998).

Metabolism and functions of lipids in myelin by Sebastian Schmitt; Ludovici Cantuti Castelvetri; Mikael Simons (999-1005).
Rapid conduction of nerve impulses requires coating of axons by myelin sheaths, which are lipid-rich and multilamellar membrane stacks. The lipid composition of myelin varies significantly from other biological membranes. Studies in mutant mice targeting various lipid biosynthesis pathways have shown that myelinating glia have a remarkable capacity to compensate the lack of individual lipids. However, compensation fails when it comes to maintaining long-term stability of myelin. Here, we summarize how lipids function in myelin biogenesis, axon-glia communication and in supporting long-term maintenance of myelin. We postulate that change in myelin lipid composition might be relevant for our understanding of aging and demyelinating diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue titled Brain Lipids.
Keywords: Glia; Oligodendrocytes; Axons; Myelin; Lipids;

Lipid membrane domains in the brain by Massimo Aureli; Sara Grassi; Simona Prioni; Sandro Sonnino; Alessandro Prinetti (1006-1016).
The brain is characterized by the presence of cell types with very different functional specialization, but with the common trait of a very high complexity of structures originated by their plasma membranes. Brain cells bear evident membrane polarization with the creation of different morphological and functional subcompartments, whose formation, stabilization and function require a very high level of lateral order within the membrane. In other words, the membrane specialization of brain cells implies the presence of distinct membrane domains. The brain is the organ with the highest enrichment in lipids like cholesterol, glycosphingolipids, and the most recently discovered brain membrane lipid, phosphatidylglucoside, whose collective behavior strongly favors segregation within the membrane leading to the formation of lipid-driven membrane domains. Lipid-driven membrane domains function as dynamic platforms for signal transduction, protein processing, and membrane turnover. Essential events involved in the development and in the maintenance of the functional integrity of the brain depend on the organization of lipid-driven membrane domains, and alterations in lipid homeostasis, leading to deranged lipid-driven membrane organization, are common in several major brain diseases. In this review, we summarize the forces behind the formation of lipid membrane domains and their biological roles in different brain cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Brain Lipids.
Keywords: Lipid raft; Lipid membrane domain; Liquid-ordered phase; Sphingolipid; Ganglioside; Cholesterol;

The emerging roles of lipids in circadian control by Yaarit Adamovich; Rona Aviram; Gad Asher (1017-1025).
Lipids play vital roles in a wide variety of cellular functions. They act as structural components in cell membranes, serve as a major form of energy storage, and function as key signaling molecules. Mounting evidence points towards a tight interplay between lipids and circadian clocks. In mammals, circadian clocks regulate the daily physiology and metabolism, and disruption of circadian rhythmicity is associated with altered lipid homeostasis and pathologies such as fatty liver and obesity. Concomitantly, emerging evidence suggest that lipids are embedded within the core clock circuitry and participate in circadian control. Recent advances in lipidomics methodologies and their application in chronobiology studies have shed new light on the cross talk between circadian clocks and lipid homeostasis. We review herein the latest literature related to the involvement of lipids in circadian clock's function and highlight the contribution of circadian lipidomics studies to our understanding of circadian rhythmicity and lipid homeostasis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Brain Lipids.
Keywords: Lipids; Circadian; Clocks; Nutrition; Lipidomics; Metabolomics;

Measuring brain lipids by Glyn Dawson (1026-1039).
The rapid development of analytical technology has made lipidomics an exciting new area and this review will focus more on modern approaches to lipidomics than on earlier technology. Although not fully comprehensive for all possible brain lipids, the intent is to at least provide a reference for the analysis of classes of lipids found in brain and nervous tissue. We will discuss problems posed by the brain because of its structural and functional heterogeneity, the development changes it undergoes (myelination, aging, pathology etc.) and its cellular heterogeneity (neurons, glia etc.). Section 2 will discuss the various ways in which brain tissue can be extracted to yield lipids for analysis and section 3 will cover a wide range of techniques used to analyze brain lipids such as chromatography and mass-spectrometry. In Section 4 we will discuss ways of analyzing some of the specific biologically active brain lipids found in very small amounts except in pathological conditions and section 5 looks to the future of experimental lipidomic modification in the brain. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Brain Lipids.Display Omitted
Keywords: Brain lipids; Phospholipids; Sphingolipids; Mass-spectrometry;

Monogenic neurological disorders of sphingolipid metabolism by Frédérique Sabourdy; Leonardo Astudillo; Céline Colacios; Patricia Dubot; Marguerite Mrad; Bruno Ségui; Nathalie Andrieu-Abadie; Thierry Levade (1040-1051).
Sphingolipids comprise a wide variety of molecules containing a sphingoid long-chain base that can be N-acylated. These lipids are particularly abundant in the central nervous system, being membrane components of neurons as well as non-neuronal cells. Direct evidence that these brain lipids play critical functions in brain physiology is illustrated by the dramatic consequences of genetic disturbances of their metabolism. Inherited defects of both synthesis and catabolism of sphingolipids are now identified in humans. These monogenic disorders are due to mutations in the genes encoding for the enzymes that catalyze either the formation or degradation of simple sphingolipids such as ceramides, or complex sphingolipids like glycolipids. They cause varying degrees of central nervous system dysfunction, quite similarly to the neurological disorders induced in mice by gene disruption of the corresponding enzymes. Herein, the enzyme deficiencies and metabolic alterations that underlie these diseases are reviewed. Their possible pathophysiological mechanisms and the functions played by sphingolipids one can deduce from these conditions are discussed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Brain Lipids.
Keywords: Ceramide; Genetic defects; Sphingolipidoses; Ganglioside; Glycolipid; Central nervous system;

Brain membrane lipids in major depression and anxiety disorders by Christian P. Müller; Martin Reichel; Christiane Mühle; Cosima Rhein; Erich Gulbins; Johannes Kornhuber (1052-1065).
Major depression and anxiety disorders have high prevalence rates and are frequently comorbid. The neurobiological bases for these disorders are not fully understood, and available treatments are not always effective. Current models assume that dysfunctions in neuronal proteins and peptide activities are the primary causes of these disorders. Brain lipids determine the localization and function of proteins in the cell membrane and in doing so regulate synaptic throughput in neurons. Lipids may also leave the membrane as transmitters and relay signals from the membrane to intracellular compartments or to other cells. Here we review how membrane lipids, which play roles in the membrane's function as a barrier and a signaling medium for classical transmitter signaling, contribute to depression and anxiety disorders and how this role may provide targets for lipid-based treatment approaches. Preclinical findings have suggested a crucial role for the membrane-forming n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, and sphingolipids in the induction of depression- and anxiety-related behaviors. These polyunsaturated fatty acids also offer new treatment options such as targeted dietary supplementation or pharmacological interference with lipid-regulating enzymes. While clinical trials support this view, effective lipid-based therapies may need more individualized approaches. Altogether, accumulating evidence suggests a crucial role for membrane lipids in the pathogenesis of depression and anxiety disorders; these lipids could be exploited for improved prevention and treatment. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Brain Lipids.
Keywords: Fatty acid; Glycerolipid; Glycerophospholipid; Sphingolipid; Major depression; Anxiety disorder;

PIPs in neurological diseases by Mark G. Waugh (1066-1082).
Phosphoinositide (PIP) lipids regulate many aspects of cell function in the nervous system including receptor signalling, secretion, endocytosis, migration and survival. Levels of PIPs such as PI4P, PI(4,5)P2 and PI(3,4,5)P3 are normally tightly regulated by phosphoinositide kinases and phosphatases. Deregulation of these biochemical pathways leads to lipid imbalances, usually on intracellular endosomal membranes, and these changes have been linked to a number of major neurological diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, epilepsy, stroke, cancer and a range of rarer inherited disorders including brain overgrowth syndromes, Charcot–Marie–Tooth neuropathies and neurodevelopmental conditions such as Lowe's syndrome. This article analyses recent progress in this area and explains how PIP lipids are involved, to varying degrees, in almost every class of neurological disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Brain Lipids.
Keywords: Phosphatidylinositol; Lipid; Disease; Brain; Endosome; Membrane;

Cholesterol in myelin biogenesis and hypomyelinating disorders by Gesine Saher; Sina Kristin Stumpf (1083-1094).
The largest pool of free cholesterol in mammals resides in myelin membranes. Myelin facilitates rapid saltatory impulse propagation by electrical insulation of axons. This function is achieved by ensheathing axons with a tightly compacted stack of membranes. Cholesterol influences myelination at many steps, from the differentiation of myelinating glial cells, over the process of myelin membrane biogenesis, to the functionality of mature myelin. Cholesterol emerged as the only integral myelin component that is essential and rate-limiting for the development of myelin in the central and peripheral nervous system. Moreover, disorders that interfere with sterol synthesis or intracellular trafficking of cholesterol and other lipids cause hypomyelination and neurodegeneration. This review summarizes recent results on the roles of cholesterol in CNS myelin biogenesis in normal development and under different pathological conditions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Brain Lipids.
Keywords: Myelin; Cholesterol; Pelizaeus–Merzbacher disease; Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome; Niemann–Pick disease type C; Oligodendrocyte;

The impairment of cholesterol metabolism in Huntington disease by Valerio Leoni; Claudio Caccia (1095-1105).
Huntington disease (HD), an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by an abnormal expansion of CAG trinucleotide repeat in the Huntingtin (HTT) gene, is characterized by extensive neurodegeneration of striatum and cortex and severe diffuse atrophy at MRI.The expression of genes involved in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway and the amount of cholesterol, lanosterol, lathosterol and 24S-hydroxycholesterol were reduced in murine models of HD. In case of HD-patients, the decrease of plasma 24OHC follows disease progression proportionally to motor and neuropsychiatric dysfunction and MRI brain atrophy, together with lanosterol and lathosterol (markers of cholesterol synthesis), and 27-hydroxycholesterol. A significant reduction of total plasma cholesterol was observed only in advanced stages.It is likely that mutant HTT decreases the maturation of SREBP and the up-regulation LXR and LXR-targeted genes (SREBP, ABCG1 and ABCG4, HMGCoA reductase, ApoE) resulting into a lower synthesis and transport of cholesterol from astrocytes to neurons via ApoE. In primary oligodendrocytes, mutant HTT inhibited the regulatory effect of PGC1α on cholesterol metabolism and on the expression of MBP.HTT seems to play a regulatory role in lipid metabolism. The impairment of the cholesterol metabolism was found to be proportional to the CAG repeat length and to the load of mutant HTT. A dysregulation on PGC1α and mitochondria dysfunction may be involved in an overall reduction of acetyl-CoA and ATP synthesis, contributing to the cerebral and whole body cholesterol impairment. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Brain Lipids.
Keywords: Neurodegeneration; Biomarker; Mass spectrometry; Lipid; Metabolomics;