Acid Mucopolysaccharides and Myelin Development

  • M. Rusić
  • M. Levental
  • Lj. Rakić


Several biochemical (3, 5, 6, 24) and histochemical (1, 26) studies have demonstrated the presence of acid mucopolysaccharides (AMPS) in the central and peripheral nervous tissue. Many authors have investigated the presence of individual AMPS in various species. Although there is some disagreement about the percentage of individual AMPS in the nervous tissue, there is a general agreement about the occurrence of hyaluronic acid (HA), chondroitin sulphate A and C, dermatan sulphate, heparin and heparitin sulphate (HS) in the brain (4, 6, 7, 9, 19, 20). The need for AMPS in the maintenance of normal brain function is suggested by Young (25), who has demonstrated reversible neurological and electroencephalographic changes in cat after chronic intraventricular administration of hyaluronidase. Autoradiographic (10), histochemical (11) and biochemical studies (8, 12, 14) show that AMPS are present in neurons as well as in glial cells, but the presence of these macromolecules in myelin has not been proved until recently. The findings of Szabo and Roboz-Einstein (24) and of Wolman and Hestrin-Lerner (27) both showed that the white matter of the brain consists mainly of HA. The presence of “acid polysaccharides” observed during degeneration of myelin sheath led these authors to infer the participation of HA in the construction of myelin sheath. The results reported by Singh and Bachhawat (18) on AMPS content in rat brain before and during the peak of myelination support the previous suggestion (3) concerning the possible participation of AMPS in the process of the development of the myelin sheath. Dorfman and Ho (8) showed that clonal glial cells from the rat glial tumor and from mouse neuroblastoma (22, 23) are capable of synthesizing AMPS. These authors emphasized the role which these compounds might also have in the development of normal myelin in the brain.


Hyaluronic Acid Chondroitin Sulphate Myelin Sheath Alcian Blue Postnatal Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abood, L.G. and Abul-Haj, S.K. (1956): Histochemistry and characterization of hyaluronic acid in axons of peripheral nerve. J. Neurochem. 1: 119–125.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Balasubramanian, A.S. and Bachhawat, B.K. (1970): Sulphate methabolism in brain. Brain Res. 20: 341–360.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brante, G. (1959): Mucopolysaccharides and mucoids of the nervous system. In: Biochemistry of CNS, F. Brucke (ed.) pp. 291–300, Pergamon, N. Y.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chandrasekaran, E.V., Mukherjee, K.L. and Bachhawat, B.K. (1971): Isolation and characterization of glycosaminoglycans from brain of children with protein-calorie malnutrition. J. Neurochem. 18: 1913–1920.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Clausen, J. and Hansen, A. (1963): Acid mucopolysaccharides of human brain: Identification by means of infra-red analysis. J. Neurochm. 10: 165–168.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cunningham, W.L. and Goldberg, J.M. (1968): The determination of glycosaminoglycans present in various mammalian brains. Biochem. J. 110: 35.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Custod, J.T. and Young, I.J. (1968): Cat brain mucopolysaccharides and their in vivo hyaluronidase digestion. J. Neurochem. 15: 809–813.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dorfman, A. and Ho, P.L. (1970): Synthesis of acid mucopolysaccharides by glial tumor cells in tissue culture. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 66: 495.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    George, E. and Bachhawat, B.K. (1970): Brain glycosaminoglycans sulphotransferase in Sanfilippo syndrome. Clin. Chim. Acta 30: 317–324.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hirosawa, K. and Young, W.R. (1971): Autoradio-graphic analysis of sulfate metabolism in the cerebellum of the mouse. Brain. Res. 30: 295–309.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lampert, I.A. and Lewis, P.D. (1974): Demonstration of acidic polyanions in certain glial cells during postnatal rat brain development. Brain Res. 73: 356–361.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Levental, M. and Rakic, Lj. (1973): Quantitative distribution of acid mucopolysaccharides in neuronal and glial cells isolated from rat cerebral crotex. Abstr. Commun., Fourth Meet. Int. Soc. Neurochem., Tokyo, 119.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Margolis, R.U. (1967): Acid mucopolysaccharides and proteins of bovine whole brain, white matter and myelin. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 141: 91–102.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Margolis, R.U. and Margolis, R.K. (1974): Distribution and metabolism of mucopolysaccharides and glycoproteins in neuronal perikarya, astrocytes and oligodendroglia. Biochemistry 13: 2849–2852.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Norton, W.T. and Poduslo, S.E. (1973): Myelination in rat brain: method of myelin isolation. J. Neurochem. 21: 749–757.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    iµsie, M., Levental, M. and Rakis, Lj. (1978): S-sulphate incorporation into myelin sulphated mucopolysaccharides during rat brain development. Experientia 34: 696–697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Saxena, S., George, E., Kokrady, S. and Bachhawat, B.K. (1971): Sulphate metabolism in developing rat brain: a study with subcellular fractions. Indian J. Biochem. Biophys. 8: 1–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Singh, M. and Bachhawat, B.K. (1965): The distribution and variation with age of different uronic acid-containing mucopolysaccharides in brain. J. Neurochem. 12: 519–529.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Singh, M. and Bachhawat, B.K. (1968): Isolation and characterization of glycosaminoglycans of human brain of different age groups. J. Neurochem. 15: 249–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Singh, M., Chandrasekaran, E.V., Cherian, R. and Bachhawat, B.K. (1969): Isolation and characterization of glycosaminoglycans in brain of different species. J. Neurochem. 16: 1157–1162.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Stefanovic, V. and Gore, I. (1967): A micromethod for determination of acid mucopolysaccharides in vascular tissue. J. Chromat. 31: 473–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Stoolmiller, A.C. (1972): Biosynthesis of muco-polysaccharides by neuroblastoma cells in tissue culture. Fed. Proc. 31: 910.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Stoolmiller, A.C., Dawson, G. and Dorfman, A. (1973): In: Tissue Culture of the Nervous System. G. Sato (ed), p. 247, Plenum Press, New York, N.Y.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Szabo, M.M. and Roboz-Einstein, E. (1962): Acidic polysaccharides in the central nervous system. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 98: 406–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Young, I.J. (1963): Reversible seizures produced by neuronal hyaluronic acid depletion. Exp. Neurol. 8: 195–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Young, I.J. and Abood, L.G. (1960): Histological demonstration of hyaluronic acid in the central nervous sytem. J. Neurochem. 6: 89–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Wolman, M. and Hestrin-Lerner, S. (1960): A histochemical contribution to the study of the molecular morphology of myelin sheath. J. Neurochem. 5: 114.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Rusić
    • 1
  • M. Levental
    • 1
  • Lj. Rakić
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurochemistryInstitute for Biological ResearchBelgradeYugoslavia

Personalised recommendations