Glycoconjugate Journal

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 247–250 | Cite as

Developmental changes in neutral glycosphingolipids of mouse placenta

  • Jiri Svejcar
  • Sarah Ehrlich-Rogozinski
  • Dorothea Riedel
  • Johannes Müthing
  • Nathan Sharon


The mammalian placenta is a unique organ for the study of developmental changes. Placentas of laboratory animals such as the mouse allow for the determination of the exact stage of pregnancy, which cannot be achieved with human placenta. In this study, neutral glycosphingolipids were isolated from mouse (inbred strain C57BL/6) placentas, from day 10 to day 18 of gestation, and were separated by high performance thin layer chromatography. Densitometric measurements after orcinol staining showed, at day 10 of gestation, the presence of mono-, tetra-, tri- and dihexosylceramide in decreasing quantities, as well as four unidentified spots. On day 12, the glycosphingolipid composition changed with the disappearance of the unidentified spots and the appearance of an orcinol positive spot migrating similarly to the Forssman antigen; no further changes occurred between days 12 and 18 of gestation. The identity of the Forssman-like glycosphingolipid with the Forssman antigen was established by binding of125I labelledHelix pomatia agglutinin (α-GalNAc specific) to glycosphingolipids separated on high performance thin layer chromatography plates, and by the reaction of the isolated glycosphingolipid with a monoclonal anti-Forssman antibody. The appearance of the Forssman antigen at day 12 of gestation coincided with the day of final maturation of the mouse placenta and subsequent cessation of growth, suggesting a possible role of the glycosphingolipid during embryonic development.


Forssman antigen neutral glycosphingolipids mouse placenta developmental changes 



Gal β3GalNAcβ4Galβ4Glcβ1Cer




lactosylceramide, Galβ4Glcβ1Cer

Forssman antigen







Helix pomatia agglutinin


high performance thin layer chromatography


galactosylceramide, Galβ1Cer


glucosylceramide, Glcβ1Cer


phosphate-buffered saline


peanut agglutinin


poly(vinylpyrrolidone), mol. wt 40 000


soybean agglutinin


trihexosylceramide, Galα4Galβ4Glcβ1Cer.


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiri Svejcar
    • 1
  • Sarah Ehrlich-Rogozinski
    • 2
  • Dorothea Riedel
    • 1
  • Johannes Müthing
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nathan Sharon
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Human GeneticsJohann Wolfgang Goethe UniversityFrankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Department of Membrane Research and BiophysicsThe Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  3. 3.Institute for Cell Culture TechnologyUniversity of BielefeldBielefeldGermany

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