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Evaluating modified diets and dietary supplement therapies for reducing muscle lipid accumulation and improving muscle function in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1)


Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a genetic disorder that affects a range of tissue systems, however the associated muscle weakness and fatigability can have a profound impact on quality of life. Prior studies using the limb-specific Nf1 knockout mouse (Nf1Prx1-/-) revealed an accumulation of intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) that could be rescued by a diet supplemented with L-carnitine and enriched for medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). In this study we used the Nf1Prx1-/- mouse to model a range of dietary interventions designed to reduce IMCL accumulation, and analyze using other modalities including in situ muscle physiology and lipid mass spectrometry. Histological IMCL accumulation was significantly reduced by a range of treatments including L-carnitine and high MCFAs alone. A low-fat diet did not affect IMCL, but did provide improvements to muscle strength. Supplementation yielded rapid improvements in IMCL within 4 weeks, but were lost once treatment was discontinued. In situ muscle measurements were highly variable in Nf1Prx1-/- mice, attributable to the severe phenotype present in this model, with fusion of the hips and an overall small hind limb muscle size. Lipidome analysis enabled segregation of the normal and modified chow diets, and fatty acid data suggested increased muscle lipolysis with the intervention. Acylcarnitines were also affected, suggestive of a mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation disorder. These data support the theory that NF1 is a lipid storage disease that can be treated by dietary intervention, and encourages future human trials.

Type Journal
ISBN 1932-6203 (Electronic) 1932-6203 (Linking)
Authors Vasiljevski, E. R.; Houweling, P. J.; Rupasinghe, T.; Kaur, T.; Summers, M. A.; Roessner, U.; Little, D. G.; Schindeler, A.
Responsible Garvan Author (missing name)
Publisher Name PLoS One
Published Date 2020-04-01
Published Volume 15
Published Issue 8
Published Pages e0237097
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0237097
URL link to publisher's version