Mapping and Sequencing of Gangliosides from Anencephaly by Electrospray Ionization High Capacity Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry

  • Cristina Mosoarca
  • Z̆eljka Vukelić
  • Alina D. Zamfir
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series A: Chemistry and Biology book series (NAPSA)


Congenital malformation referred to as anencephaly is a neural tube defect that occurs when the cephalic end of the neural tube fails to close, resulting in the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp. Infants with this disorder are born without a forebrain—the largest part of the brain consisting mainly of the cerebrum, which is responsible for thinking and coordination. Although some individuals with anencephaly may be born with a rudimentary brain stem, the lack of a functioning cerebrum permanently rules out the possibility of ever gaining consciousness. Gangliosides (GGs) are sialylated glycosphingolipids present in the cell plasma membrane, responsible for the modulation of the cell signal transduction events. GGs act as receptors of interferon, epidermal growth factor, nerve growth factor and are differently expressed in various pathological states of central nervous system (CNS) acting as biomarkers of CNS disorders. In this study a native GG mixture extracted and purified from a histopathologically-defined anencephalic fetal brain remnant was analyzed by electrospray ionization high capacity ion trap mass spectrometry. Structural data upon disease-associated species were collected by multiple stage collision-induced dissociation of the molecular ions. As a control a native GG mixture from a normal fetal brain in the same developmental stage was used. Comparative screening and sequencing revealed the differential expression of the GGs in aberrant vs. healthy tissue and provided accurate information upon the structure of several anencephaly-associated species.


Fetal Brain Neural Tube Defect Fast Atom Bombardment Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry Ganglioside Composition 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Mosoarca
    • 1
  • Z̆eljka Vukelić
    • 2
  • Alina D. Zamfir
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Mass Spectrometry LaboratoryNational Institute for Research and Development in Electrochemistry and Condensed MatterTimisoaraRomania
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of ZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.“Aurel Vlaicu” University of AradRomania

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