Changes in the ceramide composition of rat forebrain gangliosides with age

P. Palestini, M. Masserini, S. Sonnino, A. Giuliani, G. Tettamanti

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Five major gangliosides (GM1, GD1a, GD1b, GT1b, and GQ1b) were extracted and isolated by normal-phase HPLC from the forebrain of Sprague-Dawley rats of ages ranging from 3 days to 24 months. Each ganglioside was fractionated by reverse-phase HPLC into the molecular species carrying a single long-chain base moiety. At all ages, the C18:1 and C20:1 long-chain base species predominated, whereas the C18:0 and C20:0 ones represented 1-3% of the total. The C18:1 long-chain base species, predominant at 3 days (91-96%), diminished with age and reached, at 2 years, 73%, 65%, 61%, 59%, and 45% of the total for GD1a, GM1, GT1b, GD1b, and GQ1b, respectively. The content of the C20:1 long-chain base species, low at birth (4-9%), increased with age in all gangliosides and reached, at 2 years, 27-55% of the total. The developmental behavior of the ganglioside species containing the C18:1 long-chain base was characterized by the following: (a) a biphasic profile with a maximum around 15 days for GD1a, the most abundant ganglioside at all ages; (b) an increase until 6 months for GM1; (c) a sharp decrease until 30 days, followed by leveling for GT1b; and (d) a low, constant level for GD1b. All the ganglioside species containing the C20:1 long-chain base showed a constant increase during development, the increase being more marked in the first 30 days. The molecular species of all gangliosides carrying the C18:1 long-chain base were virtually devoid of 20:0 fatty acids and carried a higher content of 18:0 fatty acids than the corresponding C20:1 long-chain base species (average 80 versus 57%). Moreover, in the C18:1 long-chain base species, the 18:0 fatty acid content diminished with age from 89 to 72%, with a concurrent increase of 16:0 and 18:1 fatty acids, whereas the C20:1 long-chain base species had an age-constant fatty acid composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • Age
  • Brain
  • Fatty acid
  • Ganglioside
  • Long-chain base

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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