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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 176983, 10 pages
Research Article

Loss of AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Induces Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Proinflammatory Response in Unstimulated Abcd1-Knockout Mice Mixed Glial Cells

Department of Neurology, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI 48202, USA

Received 12 January 2015; Accepted 18 February 2015

Academic Editor: Luc Vallières

Copyright © 2015 Jaspreet Singh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) is caused by mutations and/or deletions in the ABCD1 gene. Similar mutations/deletions can give rise to variable phenotypes ranging from mild adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN) to inflammatory fatal cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) via unknown mechanisms. We recently reported the loss of the anti-inflammatory protein adenosine monophosphate activated protein kinase (AMPKα1) exclusively in ALD patient-derived cells. X-ALD mouse model (Abcd1-knockout (KO) mice) mimics the human AMN phenotype and does not develop the cerebral inflammation characteristic of human ALD. In this study we document that AMPKα1 levels in vivo (in brain cortex and spinal cord) and in vitro in Abcd1-KO mixed glial cells are similar to that of wild type mice. Deletion of AMPKα1 in the mixed glial cells of Abcd1-KO mice induced spontaneous mitochondrial dysfunction (lower oxygen consumption rate and ATP levels). Mitochondrial dysfunction in ALD patient-derived cells and in AMPKα1-deleted Abcd1-KO mice mixed glial cells was accompanied by lower levels of mitochondrial complex (1-V) subunits. More importantly, AMPKα1 deletion induced proinflammatory inducible nitric oxide synthase levels in the unstimulated Abcd1-KO mice mixed glial cells. Taken together, this study provides novel direct evidence for a causal role for AMPK loss in the development of mitochondrial dysfunction and proinflammatory response in X-ALD.