Medium-chain acyl coenzyme A (CoA) dehydrogenase deficiency was demonstrated in fibroblasts and/or mononuclear leukocytes from 14 patients, most of whom initially presented early in childhood with a Reye-like syndrome associated with hypoketotic hypoglycemia, dicarboxylic aciduria, and low levels of plasma carnitine. Parents of these patients had intermediate levels of medium-chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase activity, consistent with their being heterozygous for an autosomal recessive trait. All patients had normal levels of long-chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase activity, but had reduced short-chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase activity. Fatty acid oxidation was examined in cultured fibroblasts from five of the patients, using a series of14C-labeled fatty acids of different chain length (palmitic, octanoic, and butyric). Oxidation of [1-14C]-octanoic acid was less than 20% of control levels: [1-14C], [614C]-, [1614C]-, and [14C(U)]-palmitic acid oxidation rates were 88, 51, 13, and 42% of control rates, respectively. [1-14C]-butyric acid was oxidized normally. These data extend our previous findings of medium-chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency in liver tissue from three of these patients. They demonstrate the value of cultured fibroblasts and leukocytes in the diagnosis and evaluation of inherited disorders of fatty acid oxidation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health