Abetalipoproteinemia Clinical Trial
Characterization of the Density of Macular Pigment in Patients With Primary Intestinal Hypocholesterolemia and Its Relation to Their Carotenoid and Anti-oxidant Status.
Hypobetalipoproteinemias (HBL) represent a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by reduced plasma levels of plasmatic lipids (mainly triglycerides, total cholesterol (TC), LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C), and apolipoprotein B (apoB)) below the 5th percentile of the general population adjusted for age, gender. HBL may be attributed to inherited disorders caused by mutations in several known genes. Intestinal recessive HBL includes abetalipoproteinemia (ABL) (OMIM 200100) and Chylomicron Retention Disease (CMRD) (OMIM 246700) - also called Anderson's disease. Those two recessives form of HBL are the ones considered in this study. ABL is due to mutations in the Microsomal Triglyceride Transfer Protein (MTTP) gene which is required for the assembly and secretion of apoB-containing lipoproteins: Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and chylomicrons (CM) in both liver and intestine. Similarly, CMRD is due to mutations in the Sar1b gene encoding the Sar1b protein involved in the control of the intracellular trafficking of CMs in COPII-coated vesicles. Due to a defect in Apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins these diseases are characterized by dietary lipids and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) malabsorption inducing digestive and growth disorders from birth. In parallel, neurological manifestations may appear, mainly as a consequence of vitamin E and A deficiencies. Ophthalmological disorders are inconstant, with many patients being asymptomatic until adulthood. Loss of night or color vision are the first symptoms associated with retinal degeneration. Without treatment with high doses of vitamins, retinal degeneration can lead to blindness. The exact biological mechanism still remains unknown. Indeed, cases described in the scientific literature demonstrate that early treatment with high doses of vitamin E and A can stop or prevent neurological complications in the vast majority of patients; however, ophthalmic complications have a more versatile response. Thus, despite early vitamin supplementation, several cases of adolescent or adult patients with vision impairment in the form of retinitis pigmentosa have been reported. This so-called secondary retinitis pigmentosa is characterized by a progressive loss of photoreceptors and a dysfunction of the pigmentary epithelium resulting in a progressive and gradual loss of vision, usually leading to blindness. Interestingly, primary (i.e., genetic) retinitis pigmentosa are characterized by "macula lutea" atrophy composed of two lipophilic molecules from the carotenoid xanthophyll family lutein and zeaxanthin, also known as macular pigments. Moreover, preliminary data seem to show that the patients considered for this study, present decreased plasmatic carotene concentrations as well as plasmatic vitamin E concentrations largely lower than the threshold of normality. Thus, even if early treatment seems to prevent major ophthalmic complications, it does not provide total ophthalmic protection, which suggests the involvement of other factors among which carotenoids could occupy a prominent place given their essential role in maintaining the integrity of the macula.