The brain penetrant PPARγ agonist leriglitazone restores multiple altered pathways in models of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy

Laura Rodriguez-Pascau, Anna Vilalta, Marc Cerrada, Estefania Traver, Sonja Forss-Petter, Isabelle Weinhofer, Jan Bauer, Stephan Kemp, Guillem Pina, S. lvia Pascual, Uwe Meya, Patricia L. Musolino, Johannes Berger, Marc Martinell, Pilar Pizcueta

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10 Citations (Scopus)


X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD), a potentially fatal neurometabolic disorder with no effective pharmacological treatment, is characterized by clinical manifestations ranging from progressive spinal cord axonopathy [adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN)] to severe demyelination and neuroinflammation (cerebral ALD-cALD), for which molecular mechanisms are not well known. Leriglitazone is a recently developed brain penetrant full PPARγ agonist that could modulate multiple biological pathways relevant for neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases, and particularly for X-ALD. We found that leriglitazone decreased oxidative stress, increased adenosine 5'-triphosphate concentration, and exerted neuroprotective effects in primary rodent neurons and astrocytes after very long chain fatty acid-induced toxicity simulating X-ALD. In addition, leriglitazone improved motor function; restored markers of oxidative stress, mitochondrial function, and inflammation in spinal cord tissues from AMN mouse models; and decreased the neurological disability in the EAE neuroinflammatory mouse model. X-ALD monocyte-derived patient macrophages treated with leriglitazone were less skewed toward an inflammatory phenotype, and the adhesion of human X-ALD monocytes to brain endothelial cells decreased after treatment, suggesting the potential of leriglitazone to prevent the progression to pathologically disrupted blood-brain barrier. Leriglitazone increased myelin debris clearance in vitro and increased myelination and oligodendrocyte survival in demyelination-remyelination in vivo models, thus promoting remyelination. Last, leriglitazone was clinically tested in a phase 1 study showing central nervous system target engagement (adiponectin increase) and changes on inflammatory biomarkers in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid. The results of our study support the use of leriglitazone in X-ALD and, more generally, in other neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabc0555
JournalScience Translational Medicine
Issue number596
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2021

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