Primary cultures of astrocytes from rat as a model for biotin deficiency in nervous tissue

Pilar Rodríguez-Pombo, Lawrence Sweetman, Magdalena Ugarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The activities and biotin-dependence of the three mitochondrial biotin-dependent carboxylases: pyruvate carboxylase, propionyl CoA carboxylase, and β-methylcrotonyl CoA carboxylase of primary culture of astrocytes have been examined. An increase of the three mitochondrial carboxylase activities was observed during cell growth, as was the case for developing rat brain. Mitochondrial carboxylase activities from 3-wk-old primary cultures of astrocytes were higher than those in the neonatal rat brain. When astrocytes were grown in a 10% serumenriched medium supplemented with avidin to bind biotin, the mitochondrial carboxylase activities were reduced to 15% of control value. Consistent with these results, after 3 wk in culture, the 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid concentration in the growth medium was tenfold higher than the controls. In this culture condition, cellular growth and the nonbiotin-dependent enzyme, glutamine synthetase, were not modified with respect to control. Primary cultures from newborn rat brain hemispheres are suggested as an experimental approach to the study of biotin deficiency in nervous tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-44
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and Chemical Neuropathology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid excretion
  • Biotin deficiency
  • mitochondrial carboxylase activities
  • multiple carboxylase deficiency (MCD)
  • primary culture of astrocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology


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