Journal Article

Disruption of Abcc6 in the mouse: novel insight in the pathogenesis of pseudoxanthoma elasticum

Theo G.M.F. Gorgels, Xiaofeng Hu, George L. Scheffer, Allard C. van der Wal, Johan Toonstra, Paulus T.V.M. de Jong, Toin H. van Kuppevelt, Christiaan N. Levelt, Anneke de Wolf, Willem J.P. Loves, Rik J. Scheper, Ron Peek and Arthur A.B. Bergen

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 14, issue 13, pages 1763-1773
Published in print July 2005 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online May 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI:
Disruption of Abcc6 in the mouse: novel insight in the pathogenesis of pseudoxanthoma elasticum

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Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a heritable disorder of connective tissue, affecting mainly skin, eye and the cardiovascular system. PXE is characterized by dystrophic mineralization of elastic fibres. The condition is caused by loss of function mutations in ABCC6. We generated Abcc6 deficient mice (Abcc6−/−) by conventional gene targeting. As shown by light and electron microscopy Abcc6−/− mice spontaneously developed calcification of elastic fibres in blood vessel walls and in Bruch's membrane in the eye. No clear abnormalities were seen in the dermal extracellular matrix. Calcification of blood vessels was most prominent in small arteries in the cortex of the kidney, but in old mice, it occurred also in other organs and in the aorta and vena cava. Newly developed monoclonal antibodies against mouse Abcc6 localized the protein to the basolateral membranes of hepatocytes and the basal membrane in renal proximal tubules, but failed to show the protein at the pathogenic sites. Abcc6−/− mice developed a 25% reduction in plasma HDL cholesterol and an increase in plasma creatinine levels, which may be due to impaired kidney function. No changes in serum mineral balance were found. We conclude that the phenotype of the Abcc6−/− mouse shares calcification of elastic fibres with human PXE pathology, which makes this model a useful tool to further investigate the aetiology of PXE. Our data support the hypothesis that PXE is in fact a systemic disease.

Journal Article.  6848 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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