Adult-Onset CNS Sulfatide Deficiency Causes Sex-Dependent Metabolic Disruption in Aging

Shulan Qiu*, Sijia He, Jianing Wang, Hu Wang, Anindita Bhattacharjee, Xin Li, Moawiz Saeed, Jeffrey L. Dupree, Xianlin Han*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The interconnection between obesity and central nervous system (CNS) neurological dysfunction has been widely appreciated. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that obesity is a risk factor for CNS neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment. However, the extent to which CNS disruption influences peripheral metabolism remains to be elucidated. We previously reported that myelin-enriched sulfatide loss leads to CNS neuroinflammation and cognitive decline. In this study, we further investigated the impact of CNS sulfatide deficiency on peripheral metabolism while considering sex- and age-specific effects. We found that female sulfatide-deficient mice gained significantly more body weight, exhibited higher basal glucose levels, and were glucose-intolerant during glucose-tolerance test (GTT) compared to age-matched controls under a normal diet, whereas male sulfatide-deficient mice only displayed glucose intolerance at a much older age compared to female sulfatide-deficient mice. Mechanistically, we found that increased body weight was associated with increased food intake and elevated neuroinflammation, especially in the hypothalamus, in a sex-specific manner. Our results suggest that CNS sulfatide deficiency leads to sex-specific alterations in energy homeostasis via dysregulated hypothalamic control of food intake.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10483
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number13
Early online date22 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • sulfatide
  • glucose metabolism
  • food intake
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • aging


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