Biotin is an essential cofactor for carboxylases that regulates the energy metabolism. Recently, high-dose pharmaceutical-grade biotin (MD1003) was shown to improve clinical parameters in a subset of patients with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis. To gain insight into the mechanisms of action, we investigated the efficacy of high-dose biotin in a genetic model of chronic axonopathy caused by oxidative damage and bioenergetic failure, the Abcd1- mouse model of adrenomyeloneuropathy. High-dose biotin restored redox homeostasis driven by NRF-2, mitochondria biogenesis and ATP levels, and reversed axonal demise and locomotor impairment. Moreover, we uncovered a concerted dysregulation of the transcriptional program for lipid synthesis and degradation in the spinal cord likely driven by aberrant SREBP-1c/mTORC1signaling. This resulted in increased triglyceride levels and lipid droplets in motor neurons. High-dose biotin normalized the hyperactivation of mTORC1, thus restoring lipid homeostasis. These results shed light into the mechanism of action of high-dose biotin of relevance for neurodegenerative and metabolic disorders.
Keywords: NRF2; SREBP-1c; axonal degeneration; biotin; mTORC1; multiple sclerosis; redox homeostasis.
© 2020 International Society of Neuropathology.