Document Detail

Sulfatide with short fatty acid dominates in astrocytes and neurons.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16623713     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Glycosphingolipids are located in cell membranes and the brain is especially enriched. We speculated that the subcellular location of glycosphingolipids depends on their fatty acid chain length because their sugar residues are constant, whereas fatty acid chain length can vary within the same molecule. To test this hypothesis we analysed the glycosphingolipid sulfatide, which is highly abundant in myelin and has mostly long fatty acids. We used a negative ion electrospray tandem mass spectrometry precursor ion scan to analyse the molecular species of sulfatide in cultured astrocytes and a mouse model of the human disease metachromatic leukodystrophy. In these arylsulfatase A (ASA)-deficient mice sulfatide accumulates intracellularly in neurons and astrocytes. Immunocytochemistry was also performed on cultured astrocytes and analysed using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Analyses of the molecular species showed that cultured astrocytes contained sulfatide with a predominance of stearic acid (C18), which was located in large intracellular vesicles throughout the cell body and along the processes. The same was seen in ASA-deficient mice, which accumulated a higher proportion (15 mol% compared with 8 mol% in control mice) of sulfatide with stearic acid. We conclude that the major fatty acid composition of sulfatide differs between white and grey matter, with neurons and astrocytes containing mostly short-chain fatty acids with an emphasis on stearic acid. Based on our results, we speculate that the fatty acid chain length of sulfatide might determine its intracellular (short chain) or extracellular (long chain) location and thereby its functions.
Giorgis Isaac; Zarah Pernber; Volkmar Gieselmann; Elisabeth Hansson; Jonas Bergquist; Jan-Eric Månsson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The FEBS journal     Volume:  273     ISSN:  1742-464X     ISO Abbreviation:  FEBS J.     Publication Date:  2006 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-04-20     Completed Date:  2006-06-01     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101229646     Medline TA:  FEBS J     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1782-90     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Analytical Chemistry, Uppsala University, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Astrocytes / metabolism*,  ultrastructure
Cells, Cultured
Cerebroside-Sulfatase / genetics,  physiology
Fatty Acids / metabolism*
Leukodystrophy, Metachromatic / metabolism,  pathology
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Mice, Knockout
Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
Neurons / metabolism*,  ultrastructure
Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
Stearic Acids / chemistry
Sulfoglycosphingolipids / metabolism*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fatty Acids; 0/Stearic Acids; 0/Sulfoglycosphingolipids; 57-11-4/stearic acid; EC

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