Gangliosides and Synaptic Transmission

  • Lars Svennerholm
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 125)


Gangliosides usually make up only a small proportion of the lipids constituting the plasma cell membrane. It is also characteristic that the concentration of gangliosides and their pattern in a given organ vary widely with species and between different organs in a species. Wide variation in ganglioside pattern of the red cell membranes of various species has been known for some time (YAMAKAWA and NAGAI, 1978) and we could recently demonstrate a large difference in ganglioside pattern of intestinal mucosa between three species, viz man, pig and cow (HOLMGREN et al., 1975). On the other hand, the ganglioside patterns of the intestinal muscular layer, which reflects mainly the gangliosides of the myenteric plexus, showed only small differences. The ganglioside concentrations and patterns of mammalian brains from primates to small animals, such as rodents are similar in adults and also show similar changes during development (SUZUKI, 1965). The gangliosides also belong to the same series, almost 99% to the ganglio series, and 80–90% of them have the basic gangliotetraose structure. In our experience only one species does not conform to this general brain ganglioside picture, namely the pig; in a certain form of mini-pigs fucosylgangliotetraosylceramide was the basic structure of 15–20% of the gangliosides (KLINGHARDT G., FREDMAN P. and SVENNERHOLM L., unpublished results).


Synaptic Transmission Cholera Toxin Lacton Formation Synaptic Junction Terminal Sialic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars Svennerholm
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychiatric Research Centre, Department of NeurochemistryUniversity of Göteborg, St. Jörgen HospitalHisings BackaSweden

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