Nonlinear optical microscopy is a novel tool for the analysis of cutaneous alterations in pseudoxanthoma elasticum.
ABSTRACT: Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE, OMIM 264800) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder with ectopic mineralization and fragmentation of elastin fibers. It is caused by mutations of the ABCC6 gene that leads to decreased serum levels of inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi) anti-mineralization factor. The occurrence of severe complications among PXE patients highlights the importance of early diagnosis so that prompt multidisciplinary care can be provided to patients. We aimed to examine dermal connective tissue with nonlinear optical (NLO) techniques, as collagen emits second-harmonic generation (SHG) signal, while elastin can be excited by two-photon excitation fluorescence (TPF). We performed molecular genetic analysis, ophthalmological and cardiovascular assessment, plasma PPi measurement, conventional histopathological examination, and ex vivo SHG and TPF imaging in five patients with PXE and five age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Pathological mutations including one new variant were found in the ABCC6 gene in all PXE patients and their plasma PPi level was significantly lower compared with controls. Degradation and mineralization of elastin fibers and extensive calcium deposition in the mid-dermis was visualized and quantified together with the alterations of the collagen structure in PXE. Our data suggests that NLO provides high-resolution imaging of the specific histopathological features of PXE-affected skin. In vivo NLO may be a promising tool in the assessment of PXE, promoting early diagnosis and follow-up.
Project description:Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a heritable ectopic mineralization disorder affecting cutaneous, ocular, and cardiovascular systems, caused by mutations in the ABCC6 gene. PXE presents with a marked clinical and genetic heterogeneity. Furthermore, heterozygous carriers may present with limited histopathological features. This study was conducted to investigate a patient with PXE and her family members clinically, histopathologically, and genetically.Clinical and histopathological examinations and mutation analyses of ABCC6 gene were performed.Lesional skin biopsy of the patient with PXE demonstrated clumping and fragmentation of elastic fibers, and calcification in the dermis. Non-lesional axillary skin samples of the husband, daughter, and older son were histopathologically normal. The skin from a similar region of a younger son revealed elastic fibers with some fragmentation and clumping but no mineralization. The patient with PXE was homozygous for the R1141X mutation in the ABCC6 gene. The husband had wild-type alleles, while all children were heterozygous carriers. Daily treatment of antioxidant therapy with tocopherol acetate and ascorbic acid was prescribed to the patient with PXE. After one year, both clinical and histopathological regression of the lesions was observed; however, lesions began to progress during the additional 6-month period of treatment.The mutation analyses of ABCC6 gene are important to determine the genotype of both patients with PXE and putative heterozygous carriers, as histopathological features of carriers may differ even in the same family. The role of antioxidant therapy for PXE is unclear, and there is a need for controlled clinical trials.
Project description:Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is an inherited metabolic disease with autosomal recessive inheritance caused by mutations in the ABCC6 gene. Since the first description of the disease in 1896, alleging a disease involving the elastic fibers, the concept evolved with the further discoveries of the pivotal role of ectopic mineralization that is preponderant in the elastin-rich tissues of the skin, eyes and blood vessel walls. After discovery of the causative gene of the disease in 2000, the function of the ABCC6 protein remains elusive. More than 300 mutations have been now reported and the concept of a dermal disease has progressively evolved toward a metabolic disorder resulting from the remote effects caused by lack of a circulating anti-mineralization factor. Very recently, evidence has accumulated that this anti-mineralizing factor is inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi). This leads to decreased PPi/Pi (inorganic phosphate) ratio that results from the lack of extracellular ATP release by hepatocytes and probably renal cells harboring the mutant ABCC6 protein. However, the mechanism by which ABCC6 dysfunction causes diminished ATP release remains an enigma. Studies of other ABC transporters, such as ABCC7 or ABCC1 could help our understanding of what ABCC6 exact function is. Data and a hypothesis on the possible roles of ABCC6 in acquired metabolic diseases are also discussed.
Project description:Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), a prototype of heritable ectopic mineralization disorders, is caused in most cases by inactivating mutations in the ABCC6 gene. It was recently discovered that absence of ABCC6-mediated adenosine triphosphate release from the liver and consequently reduced plasma inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi) levels underlie PXE. This study examined whether reduced levels of circulating PPi, an antimineralization factor, is the sole mechanism of PXE. The Abcc6-/- and Enpp1asj mice were crossed with transgenic mice expressing human ENPP1, an ectonucleotidase that generates PPi from adenosine triphosphate. We generated Abcc6-/- and Enpp1asj mice, either wild-type or hemizygous for human ENPP1. Plasma levels of PPi and the degree of ectopic mineralization were determined. Overexpression of human ENPP1 in Enpp1asj mice normalized plasma PPi levels to that of wild-type mice and, consequently, completely prevented ectopic mineralization. These changes were accompanied by restoration of their bone microarchitecture. In contrast, although significantly reduced mineralization was noted in Abcc6-/- mice expressing human ENPP1, small mineralization foci were still evident despite increased plasma PPi levels. These results suggest that PPi is the major mediator of ectopic mineralization in PXE, but there might be an alternative, as yet unknown mechanism, independent of PPi, by which ABCC6 prevents ectopic mineralization under physiologic conditions.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Mutations in ABCC6 underlie the ectopic mineralization disorder pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) and some forms of generalized arterial calcification of infancy, both of which affect the cardiovascular system. Using cultured cells, we recently showed that ATP-binding cassette subfamily C member 6 (ABCC6) mediates the cellular release of ATP, which is extracellularly rapidly converted into AMP and the mineralization inhibitor inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi). The current study was performed to determine which tissues release ATP in an ABCC6-dependent manner in vivo, where released ATP is converted into AMP and PPi, and whether human PXE ptients have low plasma PPi concentrations. APPROACH AND RESULTS:Using cultured primary hepatocytes and in vivo liver perfusion experiments, we found that ABCC6 mediates the direct, sinusoidal, release of ATP from the liver. Outside hepatocytes, but still within the liver vasculature, released ATP is converted into AMP and PPi. The absence of functional ABCC6 in patients with PXE leads to strongly reduced plasma PPi concentrations. CONCLUSIONS:Hepatic ABCC6-mediated ATP release is the main source of circulating PPi, revealing an unanticipated role of the liver in systemic PPi homeostasis. Patients with PXE have a strongly reduced plasma PPi level, explaining their mineralization disorder. Our results indicate that systemic PPi is relatively stable and that PXE, generalized arterial calcification of infancy, and other ectopic mineralization disorders could be treated with PPi supplementation therapy.
Project description:Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by progressive ectopic mineralization of the skin, eyes, and arteries, for which no effective treatment exists. PXE is caused by inactivating mutations in the gene encoding ATP-binding cassette sub-family C member 6 (ABCC6), an ATP-dependent efflux transporter present mainly in the liver. Abcc6(-/-) mice have been instrumental in demonstrating that PXE is a metabolic disease caused by the absence of an unknown factor in the circulation, the presence of which depends on ABCC6 in the liver. Why absence of this factor results in PXE has remained a mystery. Here we report that medium from HEK293 cells overexpressing either human or rat ABCC6 potently inhibits mineralization in vitro, whereas medium from HEK293 control cells does not. Untargeted metabolomics revealed that cells expressing ABCC6 excrete large amounts of nucleoside triphosphates, even though ABCC6 itself does not transport nucleoside triphosphates. Extracellularly, ectonucleotidases hydrolyze the excreted nucleoside triphosphates to nucleoside monophosphates and inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi), a strong inhibitor of mineralization that plays a pivotal role in several mineralization disorders similar to PXE. The in vivo relevance of our data are demonstrated in Abcc6(-/-) mice, which had plasma PPi levels <40% of those found in WT mice. This study provides insight into how ABCC6 affects PXE. Our data indicate that the factor that normally prevents PXE is PPi, which is provided to the circulation in the form of nucleoside triphosphates via an as-yet unidentified but ABCC6-dependent mechanism.
Project description:The ATP-binding cassette sub-family C member 6 transporter (ABCC6) is an ATP dependent transporter mainly found in the basolateral plasma membrane of hepatic and kidney cells. Mutations in ABCC6 gene were associated to the Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), an autosomal recessive disease characterized by a progressive ectopic calcification of elastic fibers in dermal, ocular, and vascular tissues. It is reported that the over-expression of ABCC6 in HEK293 cells results in the cellular efflux of ATP and other nucleoside triphosphates, which in turn are rapidly converted into nucleoside monophosphates and pyrophosphate (PPi). Since PPi is an inhibitor of mineralization, it was proposed that the absence of circulating PPi in PXE patients results in the ectopic mineralization, a typical feature of PXE. In the extracellular environment, ATP is converted, not only into pyrophosphate, but also into AMP by an ectonucleosidase, which in turn is transformed into adenosine and phosphate. ABCC6 protein is thus involved in the production of extracellular adenosine and therefore it could have a role in the activation of the purinergic system. In the liver, purinergic signaling has been shown to regulate key basic cellular functions. Our previous studies showed that in ABCC6 knockdown HepG2 cells the expression of some genes, related with the calcification processes, is dysregulated. In this study, experiments have been carried out in order to verify if ABCC6, besides supplying the pyrophosphate required to prevent the mineralization of soft tissues, also plays a role in the activation of the purinergic system. For this purpose, the transport activity of ABCC6 was blocked with Probenecid and the expression of ABCC6 and NT5E was analyzed with real time PCR and western blotting. The results of this study showed that both proteins are downregulated in the presence of Probenecid and upregulated in the presence of adenosine or ATP.
Project description:Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a genetic metabolic disease with autosomal recessive inheritance caused by mutations in the ABCC6 gene. The lack of functional ABCC6 protein leads to ectopic mineralization that is most apparent in the elastic tissues of the skin, eyes and blood vessels. The clinical prevalence of PXE has been estimated at between 1 per 100,000 and 1 per 25,000, with slight female predominance. The first clinical sign of PXE is almost always small yellow papules on the nape and sides of the neck and in flexural areas. The papules coalesce, and the skin becomes loose and wrinkled. The mid-dermal elastic fibers are short, fragmented, clumped and calcified. Dystrophic calcification of Bruch's membrane, revealed by angioid streaks, may trigger choroidal neovascularization and, ultimately, loss of central vision and blindness in late-stage disease. Lesions in small and medium-sized artery walls may result in intermittent claudication and peripheral artery disease. Cardiac complications (myocardial infarction, angina pectoris) are thought to be relatively rare but merit thorough investigation. Ischemic strokes have been reported. PXE is a metabolic disease in which circulating levels of an anti-mineralization factor are low. There is good evidence to suggest that the factor is inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi), and that the circulating low levels of PPi and decreased PPi/Pi ratio result from the lack of ATP release by hepatocytes harboring the mutant ABCC6 protein. However, the substrate(s) bound, transported or modulated by the ABCC6 protein remain unknown. More than 300 sequence variants of the ABCC6 gene have been identified. There is no cure for PXE; the main symptomatic treatments are vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor therapy (for ophthalmic manifestations), lifestyle, lipid-lowering and dietary measures (for reducing vascular risk factors), and vascular surgery (for severe cardiovascular manifestations). Future treatment options may include gene therapy/editing and pharmacologic chaperone therapy.
Project description:Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) and generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI) are heritable disorders manifesting with ectopic tissue mineralization. Most cases of PXE and some cases of GACI are caused by mutations in the ABCC6 gene, resulting in reduced plasma pyrophosphate (PPi) levels. There is no effective treatment for these disorders. It has been suggested that administration of bisphosphonates, stable and non-hydrolyzable PPi analogs, could counteract ectopic mineralization in these disorders. In this study we tested the potential efficacy of etidronate, a first generation bisphosphonate, on ectopic mineralization in the muzzle skin of Abcc6-/- mice, a model of PXE. The Abcc6-/- mice received subcutaneous injections of etidronate, 0.283 and 3.40 mg/kg per injection (0.01× and 0.12×), twice a week, in both prevention and reversal studies. Ectopic mineralization in the dermal sheath of vibrissae in muzzle skin was determined by histopathologic analysis and by direct chemical assay for calcium content. Subcutaneous injection of etidronate prevented ectopic mineralization but did not reverse existing mineralization. The effect of etidronate was accompanied by alterations in the trabecular bone microarchitecture, determined by micro-computed tomography. The results suggest that etidronate may offer a potential treatment modality for PXE and GACI caused by ABCC6 mutations. Etidronate therapy should be initiated in PXE patients as soon as the diagnosis is made, with careful monitoring of potential side effects.
Project description:Among ectopic mineralization disorders, pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE)-a rare genodermatosis associated with ocular and cardiovascular manifestations-is considered a paradigm disease. The symptoms of PXE are the result of mineralization and fragmentation of elastic fibers, the exact pathophysiology of which is incompletely understood. Though molecular analysis of the causal gene, ABCC6, has a high mutation uptake, a skin biopsy has until now been considered the golden standard to confirm the clinical diagnosis. Although the histological hallmarks of PXE are rather specific, several other diseases-particularly those affecting the skin-can present with clinical and/or histological characteristics identical to or highly resemblant of PXE. In this paper, we will summarize the histopathological features of PXE together with those of disorders that are most frequently considered in the differential diagnosis of PXE.
Project description:A characteristic feature of classic pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the ABCC6 gene, is aberrant mineralization of connective tissues, particularly the elastic fibers. Here, we report a family with PXE-like cutaneous features in association with multiple coagulation factor deficiency, an autosomal recessive disorder associated with GGCX mutations. The proband and her sister, both with severe skin findings with extensive mineralization, were compound heterozygotes for missense mutations in the GGCX gene, which were shown to result in reduced gamma-glutamyl carboxylase activity and in undercarboxylation of matrix gla protein. The proband's mother and aunt, also manifesting with PXE-like skin changes, were heterozygous carriers of a missense mutation (p.V255M) in GGCX and a null mutation (p.R1141X) in the ABCC6 gene, suggesting digenic nature of their skin findings. Thus, reduced gamma-glutamyl carboxylase activity in individuals either compound heterozygous for a missense mutation in GGCX or with haploinsufficiency in GGCX in combination with heterozygosity for ABCC6 gene expression results in aberrant mineralization of skin leading to PXE-like phenotype. These findings expand the molecular basis of PXE-like phenotypes, and suggest a role for multiple genetic factors in pathologic tissue mineralization in general.