Metabolic Aspects of Gangliosides Involved in the Maturation of Cultured Nerve Cells

  • Henri Dreyfus
  • Dominique Lombard-Golly
  • Michèle Agler-Sbaschnig
  • Bernard Guérold
  • Michèle Durand
  • Raphaël Massarelli
  • Robert W. Ledeen
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 116)


Glycolipids are a special family of lipids mainly located on the cell surface. Among them, gangliosides (sialoglycolipids) are particularly abundant in the membranes of nerve cells (for review see Ledeen, 1983 ; Ando, 1983). The pronounced changes in glycolipid patterns and concentrations which accompany nervous system development as well as the property of glycolipids to protude their sugar chain towards the extracellular milieu have been interpreted in relation to their potential role(s) in nerve cell differentiation and metabolism. In particular the recent demonstration (Yamamoto et al., 1985) that fucoglycolipids are stage- and region-specific antigens in developing embryonic brain of rodents has focused interest on this subgroup of glycoconjugates. Much experimental evidence indicates a great variety in the chemical composition and structure of gangliosides and in their content between neuronal and glial cells, thus raising the hypothesis that (some) gangliosides may specifically participate in those processes leading to neuronal and glial cell maturation and interaction. In the nervous system, addition of exogenous gangliosides appears to facilitate the formation of synapses and stimulation of nerve regeneration by an increased sprouting of nerve fibers (for review, see Ledeen, 1984).


Glial Cell Sialic Acid Sialic Acid Content Chick Brain Neutral Glycolipid 
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Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium


Bottenstein-Sato defined medium


day in culture.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henri Dreyfus
    • 1
  • Dominique Lombard-Golly
    • 1
  • Michèle Agler-Sbaschnig
    • 2
  • Bernard Guérold
    • 1
  • Michèle Durand
    • 1
  • Raphaël Massarelli
    • 1
  • Robert W. Ledeen
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre de Neurochimie and Unité 44 INSERMStrasbourg CedexFrance
  2. 2.Department of Neurology and BiochemistryAlbert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva UniversityBronxUSA

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