Wilhelm Roux's archives of developmental biology

, Volume 183, Issue 4, pp 325–335 | Cite as

Gangliosides, sialoglycoproteins and acetylcholinesterase of the developing mouse brain

  • Harald Rösner


The developmental accretion of up to nine individual gangliosides in foetal brains, peri- and postnatal cortices, postnatal cerebelli and olfactory lobes and in the liver and the spleen were investigated in mice and compared with that of glycoprotein-bound sialic acid and the activity of the acetylcholinesterase.

In foetal brain and in postnatal liver and spleen more sialic acid was found bound to glycoproteins than to gangliosides. In postnatal brain structures, however, ganglioside-NeuAc predominated and increased between the 7th and 21st d about 2-fold in the olfactory lobes and cerebellum and more than 3-fold in the cortex.

During foetal development the relative quantities (mol %) as well as the absolute concentrations (compared with the fresh weight) of GM1, GM2 and GM3 in the brain decreased, whereas those of GD1a, GD1b and GQ increased.

This pattern change continued perinatally in the cortex up to the end of the first week. Thereafter the pattern changed little, but the concentration of all gangliosides present increased much more rapidly, especially between the 10th and 13th d.

The postnatal cerebellum and olfactory lobes contained higher concentrations of GM1 and GM3 than the cortex, both gangliosides decreasing in favour of their di-, tri- and tetrasialo-homologues during the third postnatal week.

In all brains structures the accretion of GD1a and GT1 was proportional to the increase in the activity of the acetylcholinesterase.

Unlike the brain structures, the ganglioside pattern in the liver and spleen, characterised by a predominance of monosialogangliosides and of GD3, did not change noticeably during the first three weeks after birth.

The coincidence of the changes in ganglioside accretion observed in the different brain structures with successive periods of morphological differentiation further support the suggestion that gangliosides may play an important role in control of the growth and differentiation of developing nerve cells.

Key words

Gangliosides Sialoglycoproteins Acetylcholinesterase Brain Development 









IV3NeuAc-, II3 NeuAc-GgOse4Cer


II3 NeuAc2-GgOse2Cer


II3 NeuAc2-GgOse3 Cer


II3 NeuAc2-GgOse4 Cer


IV3 NeuAc-, II3 NeuAc2-GgOse4 Cer


IV3 NeuAc-, II3 NeuAc3-GgOse4 Cer


N-acetylneuraminic acid (sialic acid)




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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harald Rösner
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoological Institute of the University HohenheimGermany

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