Sexually dimorphic metabolism of branched-chain lipids in C57BL/6J mice. Academic Article uri icon


  • Despite the importance of branched chain lipid oxidation in detoxification, almost nothing is known regarding factors regulating peroxisomal uptake, targeting, and metabolism. One peroxisomal protein, sterol carrier protein-x (SCP-x), is thought to catalyze a key thiolytic step in branched chain lipid oxidation. When mice with substantially lower hepatic levels of SCP-x were tested for susceptibility to dietary stress with phytol (a phytanic acid precursor and peroxisome proliferator), livers of phytol-fed female but not male mice i). accumulated phytol metabolites (phytanic acid, pristanic acid, and Delta-2,3-pristanic acid); ii). exhibited decreased fat tissue mass and increased liver mass/body mass; iii). displayed signs of histopathological lesions in the liver; and iv). demonstrated significant alterations in hepatic lipid distributions. Moreover, both male and female mice exhibited phytol-induced peroxisomal proliferation, as demonstrated by liver morphology and upregulation of the peroxisomal protein catalase. In addition, levels of liver fatty acid binding protein, along with SCP-2 and SCP-x, increased, suggesting upregulation mediated by phytanic acid, a known ligand agonist of the peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor alpha. In summary, the present work establishes a role for SCP-x in branched chain lipid catabolism and demonstrates a sexual dimorphic response to phytol, a precursor of phytanic acid, in lipid parameters and hepatotoxicity.

published proceedings

  • J Lipid Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Atshaves, B. P., Payne, H. R., McIntosh, A. L., Tichy, S. E., Russell, D., Kier, A. B., & Schroeder, F.

citation count

  • 57

complete list of authors

  • Atshaves, Barbara P||Payne, H Ross||McIntosh, Avery L||Tichy, Shane E||Russell, David||Kier, Ann B||Schroeder, Friedhelm

publication date

  • May 2004