Isotopomer spectral analysis of intermediates of cholesterol synthesis in patients with cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis

Jacob J. Clarenbach, Bernhard Lindenthal, Maria Theresa Dotti, Antonio Federico, Joanne K. Kelleher, Klaus Von Bergmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Four patients with cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) and 2 healthy controls received a constant proximal intraduodenal infusion of 1- 13C-acetate as a stable-isotope-labeled marker of sterol synthesis. One patient was treated with pravastatin (20 mg twice daily) and another patient with chenodeoxycholic acid (250 mg tid). Every hour, venous blood and duodenal samples were obtained. Stable-isotope enrichment of neutral and polar sterols in serum and bile was assessed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Isotopomer spectral analysis was performed on cholesterol, lathosterol, Δ-8-cholestenol, methylsterol, and lanosterol. Stable-isotope labeling of cholestanol, bile acids, and bile alcohols was analyzed by assessing the change over time of the ratio of M + 3 to M + 0. Eleven hours after marker infusion, we found up to 50% newly synthesized lathosterol in serum and up to 80% in bile, with similar results for other cholesterol precursors. In cholesterol, stable-isotope labeling could be demonstrated in all study subjects with a more prominent labeling in bile than in serum. No stable-isotope labeling was detected in cholestanol. Only minor stable-isotope incorporation was detectable in polar sterols in some subjects. Therapy with pravastatin did not have any effect on fractional or absolute synthesis rates or on the concentrations of cholestanol or cholesterol precursors compared to untreated patients with CTX. In contrast, therapy with chenodeoxycholic acid markedly lowered the concentrations of cholestanol and cholesterol precursors, led to a disappearance of bile alcohols, and reduced absolute synthesis rates of lathosterol. Isotopomer spectral analysis proved to be a powerful method to assess the endogenous synthesis of cholesterol precursors in patients with CTX. Higher fractional synthesis in bile than in serum may be due to the size of the pools in bile vs serum. Cholestanol exhibits no marker uptake and is therefore probably synthesized from preformed cholesterol. Biliary cholesterol secretion in patients with CTX is decreased compared to healthy controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-344
Number of pages10
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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