Vitamin E prevents lipid peroxidation and iron accumulation in PLA2G6-Associated Neurodegeneration

Neurobiol Dis. 2022 Apr:165:105649. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2022.105649. Epub 2022 Feb 2.


Background: PLA2G6-Associated Neurodegeneration (PLAN) is a rare neurodegenerative disease with autosomal recessive inheritance, which belongs to the NBIA (Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation) group. Although the pathogenesis of the disease remains largely unclear, lipid peroxidation seems to play a central role in the pathogenesis. Currently, there is no cure for the disease.

Objective: In this work, we examined the presence of lipid peroxidation, iron accumulation and mitochondrial dysfunction in two cellular models of PLAN, patients-derived fibroblasts and induced neurons, and assessed the effects of α-tocopherol (vitamin E) in correcting the pathophysiological alterations in PLAN cell cultures.

Methods: Pathophysiological alterations were examined in fibroblasts and induced neurons generated by direct reprograming. Iron and lipofuscin accumulation were assessed using light and electron microscopy, as well as biochemical analysis techniques. Reactive Oxygen species production, lipid peroxidation and mitochondrial dysfunction were measured using specific fluorescent probes analysed by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry.

Results: PLAN fibroblasts and induced neurons clearly showed increased lipid peroxidation, iron accumulation and altered mitochondrial membrane potential. All these pathological features were reverted with vitamin E treatment.

Conclusions: PLAN fibroblasts and induced neurons reproduce the main pathological alterations of the disease and provide useful tools for disease modelling. The main pathological alterations were corrected by Vitamin E supplementation in both models, suggesting that blocking lipid peroxidation progression is a critical therapeutic target.

Keywords: Iron accumulation; Lipid peroxidation; Lipofuscin; Mitochondria; NBIA; PLA2G6-Associated Neurodegeneration; Vitamin E.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Group VI Phospholipases A2 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Neuroaxonal Dystrophies* / metabolism
  • Neuroaxonal Dystrophies* / pathology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases* / metabolism
  • Vitamin E / metabolism
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology


  • Vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Group VI Phospholipases A2
  • PLA2G6 protein, human