Temporal changes in the brain lipidome during neurodevelopment of Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome mice†
Neurodevelopment is an intricately orchestrated program of cellular events that occurs with tight temporal and spatial regulation. While it is known that the development and proper functioning of the brain, which is the second most lipid rich organ behind adipose tissue, greatly rely on lipid metabolism and signaling, the temporal lipidomic changes that occur throughout the course of neurodevelopment have not been investigated. Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome is a metabolic disorder caused by genetic mutations in the DHCR7 gene, leading to defective 3β-hydroxysterol-Δ7-reductase (DHCR7), the enzyme that catalyzes the last step of the Kandutsch-Russell pathway of cholesterol synthesis. Due to the close regulatory relationship between sterol and lipid homeostasis, we hypothesize that altered or dysregulated lipid metabolism beyond the primary defect of cholesterol biosynthesis is present in the pathophysiology of SLOS. Herein, we applied our HILIC-IM-MS method and LiPydomics Python package to streamline an untargeted lipidomics analysis of developing mouse brains in both wild-type and Dhcr7-KO mice, identifying lipids at Level 3 (lipid species level: lipid class/subclass and fatty acid sum composition). We compared relative lipid abundances throughout development, from embryonic day 12.5 to postnatal day 0 and determined differentially expressed brain lipids between wild-type and Dhcr7-KO mice at specific developmental time points, revealing lipid metabolic pathways that are affected in SLOS beyond the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway, such as glycerolipid, glycerophospholipid, and sphingolipid metabolism. Implications of the altered lipid metabolic pathways in SLOS pathophysiology are discussed.