PMID: 7931872Oct 1, 1994Paper

A new type of peroxisomal disorder with variable expression in liver and fibroblasts

The Journal of Pediatrics
Hanna MandelR B Schutgens


We describe two siblings, presently 5 and 9 years of age, who had neurodegenerative symptoms after the first year of life. Although they lacked clinical characteristics of a peroxisomal disorder, they had elevated levels of plasma very long chain fatty acids, pipecolic and phytanic acids, and abnormal bile acid intermediates, which suggested a generalized peroxisome deficiency disorder. Immunocytochemical study and electron microscopy of the liver disclosed absence of peroxisomes in approximately 90% of hepatocytes. However, the remaining 10% of the hepatocytes had numerous normal-looking peroxisomes containing catalase activity and catalase antigen. Alanine glyoxylate aminotransferase and the peroxisomal beta-oxidation enzymes acyl-coenzyme A oxidase and 3-ketoacyl coenzyme A thiolase were also present in the organelles. Both cell types were grouped in clusters. In contrast to most of the liver cells, fibroblasts cultured from skin biopsy specimens had normal peroxisomal functions. Thus this defect in peroxisome biogenesis is characterized by variable expression in different tissues (liver vs fibroblasts), as well as within individual cells in the same tissue (liver mosaicism). Awareness of the heterogeneity in tissue expressi...Continue Reading


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