To understand the functional role of the peroxisomal membrane channel Pxmp2, mice with a targeted disruption of the Pxmp2 gene were generated. These mice were viable, grew and bred normally. However, Pxmp2-/- female mice were unable to nurse their pups. Lactating mammary gland epithelium displayed secretory lipid droplets and milk proteins, but the size of the ductal system was greatly reduced. Examination of mammary gland development revealed that retarded mammary ductal outgrowth was due to reduced proliferation of epithelial cells during puberty. Transplantation experiments established the Pxmp2-/- mammary stroma as a tissue responsible for suppression of epithelial growth. Morphological and biochemical examination confirmed the presence of peroxisomes in the mammary fat pad adipocytes, and functional Pxmp2 was detected in the stroma of wild-type mammary glands. Deletion of Pxmp2 led to an elevation in the expression of peroxisomal proteins in the mammary fat pad but not in liver or kidney of transgenic mice. Lipidomics of Pxmp2-/-mammary fat pad showed a decrease in the content of myristic acid (C14), a principal substrate for protein myristoylation and a potential peroxisomal β-oxidation product. Analysis of complex lipids revealed a reduced concentration of a variety of diacylglycerols and phospholipids containing mostly polyunsaturated fatty acids that may be caused by activation of lipid peroxidation. However, an antioxidant-containing diet did not stimulate mammary epithelial proliferation in Pxmp2-/- mice. The results point to disturbances of lipid metabolism in the mammary fat pad that in turn may result in abnormal epithelial growth. The work reveals impaired mammary gland development as a new category of peroxisomal disorders. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Vapola, M. H., Rokka, A., Sormunen, R. T., Alhonen, L., Schmitz, W., Conzelmann, E., … Hiltunen, J. K. (2014). Peroxisomal membrane channel Pxmp2 in the mammary fat pad is essential for stromal lipid homeostasis and for development of mammary gland epithelium in mice. Developmental Biology, 391(1), 66–80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.03.022