Submitted to: American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/9/2007
Publication Date: 10/9/2007
Citation: Marini, J.C., Erez, A., Castillo, L., Lee, B. 2007. Interaction between murine spf-ash mutation and genetic background yields different metabolic phenotypes. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism. 293(6):E1764-E1771. Interpretive Summary: Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency is the most prevalent urea cycle disorder in humans and has a wide range of presentations. Some subjects show symptoms early in life with recurrent hyperammonemia and cognitive impairment, while in others the disorder has a late onset and better prognosis. The multiple mutations reported, however, do not account for all this variability, since there is still a wide variability among related subjects. In the present work we studied the effect of genetic background on the metabolic phenotypical presentation of the OTC mutation in mice. The interaction between mutation and genetic background observed in these mouse models reflects the variability seen in the human population and contributes to the understanding of the variability reported.
Technical Abstract: The spf-ash mutation in mice results in reduced hepatic and intestinal ornithine transcarbamylase. However, a reduction in enzyme activity only translates in reduced ureagenesis and hyperammonemia when an unbalanced nitrogen load is imposed. Six-week-old wild-type control and spf-ash mutant male mice from different genetic backgrounds (B6 and ICR) were infused intravenously with [(13)C(18)O]urea, l-[(15)N(2)]arginine, l-[5,5 D(2)]ornithine, l-[6-(13)C, 4,4,5,5, D(4)]citrulline, and l-[ring-D(5)]phenylalanine to investigate the interaction between genetic background and spf-ash mutation on ureagenesis, arginine metabolism, and nitric oxide production. ICR(spf-ash) mice maintained ureagenesis (5.5 +/- 0.3 mmol.kg(-1).h(-1)) and developed mild hyperammonemia (145 +/- 19 micromol/l) when an unbalanced nitrogen load was imposed; however, B6(spf-ash) mice became hyperammonemic (671 +/- 15 micromol/l) due to compromised ureagenesis (3.4 +/- 0.1 mmol.kg(-1).h(-1)). Ornithine supplementation restored ureagenesis and mitigated hyperammonemia. A reduction in citrulline entry rate was observed due to the mutation in both genetic backgrounds (wild-type: 128, spf-ash: 60; SE 4.0 micromol.kg(-1).h(-1)). Arginine entry rate was only reduced in B6(spf-ash) mice (B6(spf-ash): 332, ICR(spf-ash): 453; SE 20.6 micromol.kg(-1).h(-1)). Genetic background and mutation had an effect on nitric oxide production (B6: 3.4, B6(spf-ash): 2.8, ICR: 9.0, ICR(spf-ash): 4.6, SE 0.7 micromol.kg(-1).h(-1)). Protein breakdown was the main source of arginine during the postabsorptive state and was higher in ICR(spf-ash) than in B6(spf-ash) mice (phenylalanine entry rate 479 and 327, respectively; SE 18 micromol.kg(-1).h(-1)). Our results highlight the importance of the interaction between mutation and genetic background on ureagenesis, arginine metabolism, and nitric oxide production. These observations help explain the wide phenotypic variation of ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency in the human population.