Longitudinal study of Pex1-G844D NMRI mouse model: A robust pre-clinical T model for mild Zellweger spectrum disorder

By 29 October 2020November 6th, 2020NASH / NAFLD

Zellweger spectrum disorders (ZSD) are inborn errors of metabolism caused by mutations in PEX genes that lead to peroxisomal biogenesis disorder (PBD). No validated treatment is able to modify the dismal progression of the disease. ZSD mouse models used to develop therapeutic approaches are limited by poor survival and breeding restrictions. To overcome these limitations, we backcrossed the hypomorphic Pex1 p.G844D allele to NMRI background. NMRI mouse breeding restored an autosomal recessive Mendelian inheritance pattern and deliv- ered twice larger litters. Mice were longitudinally phenotyped up to 6 months of age to make this model suitable for therapeutic interventions. ZSD mice exhibited growth retardation and relative hepatomegaly associated to progressive hepatocyte hypertrophy. Biochemical studies associated with RNA sequencing deciphered ZSD liver glycogen metabolism alterations. Affected fibroblasts displayed classical immunofluorescence pattern and bio- chemical alterations associated with PBD. Plasma and liver showed very long-chain fatty acids, specific oxy- sterols and C27 bile acids intermediates elevation in ZSD mice along with a specific urine organic acid profile. With ageing, C26 fatty acid and phytanic acid levels tended to normalize in ZSD mice, as described in patients reaching adulthood. In conclusion, our mouse model recapitulates a mild ZSD phenotype and is suitable for liver- targeted therapies evaluation.