Adrenoleukodystrophy: Elevated C26 fatty acid in cultured skin fibroblasts

Hugo W. Moser, Ann B. Moser, Nariko Kawamura, Jerome Murphy, Kunihiko Suzuki, Herbert Schaumburg, Yasuo Kishimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


Because postmortem brain and adrenal tissue from patients with adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) or adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN) have been shown to contain abnormally large amounts of very long chain fatty acids (C24 through C30), we searched for such an abnormality in cultured skin fibroblasts. Total lipid extracts of cultured fibroblasts were hydrolyzed, their fatty acid composition was derermined by gas‐liquid chromatography, and the ratio of C26 to C22 fatty acids was calculated. In 29 control cell lines this ratio was 0.064 ± 0.019. In 5 patients with autopsy‐proved ALD the ratio was 0.778 ± 0.139; in 6 patients with clinical features typical of ALD it was 0.764 ± 0.092; in 2 patients with autopsy‐proved AMN, 0.890 ± 0.02; and in 2 patients with clinical features typical of AMN, 0.560 ± 0.079. Abnormal ratios were observed in 4 of 5 ALD heterozygotes. In 3 patients in whom the diagnosis of ALD was suspected, an abnormal ratio (0.860) was observed in 1 and normal ratios (0.06 and 0.074) in the 2 others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-549
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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