Carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1c gain-of-function in the brain results in postnatal microencephaly

Amanda A. Reamy, Michael J. Wolfgang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1c (CPT1c) is a newly identified and poorly understood brain-specific CPT1 homologue. Here, we have generated a new animal model that allows the conditional expression of CPT1c in a tissue specific and/or temporal manner via Cre-lox mediated recombination. Brain-specific, exogenous expression of CPT1c was achieved by crossing transgenic CPT1c mice to Nestin-Cre mice. The resulting double transgenic mice (CPT1c-TgN) displayed severe growth retardation in the postnatal period with a stunted development at 2 weeks of age. CPT1c-TgN mice had a greater than 2.3-fold reduction in brain weight. Even with this degree of microencephaly, CPT1c-TgN mice were viable and fertile and exhibited normal post-weaning growth. When fed a high fat diet CPT1c-TgN mice were protected from weight gain and the difference in body weight between CPT1c-TgN and control mice was further exaggerated. Conversely, low fat, high carbohydrate feeding partially reversed the body weight defects in CPT1c-TgN mice. Analysis of total brain lipids of low fat fed mice revealed a depletion of total very long chain fatty acids in adult CPT1c-TgN mice which was not evident in high fat fed CPT1c-TgN mice. These data show that CPT1c can elicit profound effects on brain physiology and total fatty acid profiles, which can be modulated by the nutritional composition of the diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-398
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • CPT1
  • body weight
  • fatty acid
  • malonyl-CoA
  • metabolism
  • oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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