, Volume 6, Issue 10, pp 1081-1089

Turnover rate of molecular species of sphingomyelin in rat brain

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Turnover rate of individual molecular species of sphingomyelin of adult rat brain myelin and microsomal membranes was determined after an intracerebral injection of 100 μCi of [C3H3]choline. Myelin and microsomal membrane sphingomyelins were isolated from the rest of the lipids. The individual molecular species of benzoylated sphingomyelin were separated and quantitated by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography. All individual major molecular species of microsomal and myelin sphingomyelin had maximum incorporation at 6 and 15 days, respectively, after the injection. The specific radioactivity of all the various molecular species of both myelin and microsomal sphingomyelin declined at a similar rate after reaching a maximum. There was no significant difference in the turnover rate of short chain (16:0, 18:0) and long chain (>22:0) fatty acid containing sphingomyelin. The average apparent turnover rate of myelin and microsomal sphingomyelin molecular species was about 14–16 days for the fast pool and about 45 days for the slow pool. It is concluded that individual molecular species of sphingomyelin of myelin and microsomal membranes turned over at a similar rate. Thus, turnover rate of sphingomyelin in myelin and microsomal membranes is not affected by the fatty acyl composition of the lipid.