Dissecting lipid metabolism in meibomian glands of humans and mice: An integrative study reveals a network of metabolic reactions not duplicated in other tissues

Igor A. Butovich, Anne McMahon, Jadwiga C. Wojtowicz, Feng Lin, Ronald Mancini, Kamel Itani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lipids comprise the bulk of the meibomian gland secretion (meibum) which is produced by meibocytes. Complex arrays of lipogenic reactions in meibomian glands, which we collectively call meibogenesis, have not been explored on a molecular level yet. Our goals were to elucidate the possible biosynthetic pathways that underlie the generation of meibum, reveal similarities in, and differences between, lipid metabolism in meibomian glands and other organs and tissues, and integrate meibomian gland studies into the field of general metabolomics. Specifically, we have conducted detailed analyses of human and mouse specimens using genomic, immunohistochemical, and lipidomic approaches. Among equally highly expressed genes found in meibomian glands of both species were those related to fatty acid elongation, branching, desaturation, esterification, reduction of fatty acids to alcohols, and cholesterol biosynthesis. Importantly, corresponding lipid products were detected in meibum of both species using lipidomic approaches. For the first time, a cohesive, unifying biosynthetic scheme that connects genomic, lipidomic, and immunohistochemical observations is outlined and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-553
Number of pages16
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Volume1861
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2016

Keywords

  • Branched lipids
  • Extremely long chain lipids
  • Gene expression
  • Lipidomics
  • Meibocytes
  • Meibogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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