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.
- body weight
- fatty acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience