Lipid abnormalities in hereditary neuropathy. Part 2. Serum phospholipids

Jeffrey K. Yao, Peter James Dyck

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20 Scopus citations


The mean percentage of linoleate to total fatty acids in phosphatidylcholine and lysophosphatidylcholine fractions of serum phospholipids from neuropathic patients with HMN (hereditary motor neuropathy, also called distal type of progressive muscular atrophy), HMSN-I and HMSN-II (two types of peroneal muscular atrophy), and FA (Friedreich's ataxia) was reduced by approximately 10-20% (P < 0.001). On the other hand, the mean percentage of nervonic acid in sphingomyelin was elevated by 9-20%. No significant difference was observed in phosphatidylethanolamine between neuropathic patients and control subjects. The mean concentration of phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin was also significantly reduced in neuropathic patients (except in HMN and HMSN-III). A significant correlation between endogenous 2-linoleoyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphocholine and cholesteryl linoleate synthesis in vitro suggests that the decreased activity of phosphatidylcholine acyltransferase (EC; LCAT) in neuropathic patients is influenced by the fatty acid composition of their lipoprotein substrate. Furthermore, the reduction of phosphatidylcholine and of cholesteryl linoleate synthesis in vitro in neuropathic patients was affected by age and sex. It is unlikely that the reduced linoleate level in serum phosphatidylcholine for most, possibly all, of the inherited neuropathies studied here reflects a specific biochemical disorder. Possibly it reflects a more generalized biochemical alteration common to inherited neuropathy. One possibility is that biosynthesis of new membrane in axonal regeneration, segmental remyelination and Schwann cell hyperplasia may reduce the serum linoleate pool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-236
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the neurological sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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