Patients with Autosomal Recessive Microcephaly 15 caused by deficiency in the sodium-dependent lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) transporter Major Facilitator Superfamily Domain containing 2a (Mfsd2a) present with both microcephaly and hypomyelination, suggesting an important role of LPC uptake by oligodendrocytes in the process of myelination. Here, we demonstrate that Mfsd2a is specifically expressed in oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC) and is critical for oligodendrocyte development. Single cell sequencing of the oligodendrocyte lineage revealed that OPCs from OPC-specific Mfsd2a KO mice (2aOKO) underwent precocious differentiation into immature oligodendrocytes (iOLs) and impaired maturation into myelinating oligodendrocytes, correlating with postnatal brain hypomyelination. 2aOKO mice did not exhibit microcephaly, consistent with microcephaly being consequential to absence of LPC uptake at the blood-brain barrier and not from deficiency in OPCs. Lipidomic analysis showed that OPCs and iOLs from 2aOKO mice had significantly decreased phospholipids containing omega-3 fatty acids with an opposite increase in unsaturated fatty acids, that latter being products of de novo synthesis governed by Srebp-1. RNA sequencing indicated activation of the Srebp-1 pathway and defective expression of regulators of oligodendrocyte development. Taken together, these findings indicate that the transport of LPCs by Mfsd2a in OPCs is important for maintaining OPC cell state to regulate postnatal brain myelination.
Vetrivel Sengottuvel, Monalisa Hota, Jeongah Oh, Dwight L. Galam, Bernice H. Wong, Markus R. Wenk, Sujoy Ghosh, Federico Torta, David L. Silver