2004 Volume 11 Issue 3 Pages 167-172
Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) is a rare familial sterol storage disease, causing multiple xanthomas in tendons and the brain. The underlying biochemical defect is a lack of the hepatic mitochondrial cholesterol 27-hydroxylase involved in the normal biosynthesis of bile acid, resulting in reduced biosynthesis of chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA). It has been reported that administration of CDCA to CTX patients improves neurological disorders and xanthomas of the Achilles tendon. The present study investigated the effect of CDCA on the mechanism of cholesterol accumulation in macrophages, the major cells in xanthoma. The LDL from the patients in this study was significantly more susceptible to oxidative modification than normal LDL, and supplement therapy with CDCA resulted in an improvement in the susceptibility to oxidative modification. In the incubation of CDCA with plasma, 13% of the CDCA added to serum was recovered in the LDL fraction. In addition, supplementation with CDCA enhanced cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) activity and reduced high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol levels in the plasma. This evidence suggests that the multiple xanthomas observed in CTX may be induced by increased oxidized LDL and the low activity of CETP, both of which are caused by a lack of CDCA.