Biosynthesis and Transport of Gangliosides in Peripheral Nerve
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For several years after the discovery of gangliosides it was believed that they were restricted to the neuronal cell body and not present in peripheral nerve. This idea was reinforced by the results of relatively insensitive early analytical procedures which were unable to demonstrate gangliosides in peripheral nerve. MacMillan and Wherrett first demonstrated a complex pattern of gangliosides in human sciatic nerve and this has been confirmed for several different species.2–4 The physiological roles of gangliosides are still unknown. However, the finding that exogenously administered gangliosides promote axonal sprouting in regenerating nerve makes it important to determine the sites of synthesis and characteristics of ganglioside transport within nervous tissues.5 We have studied the metabolism and transport of gangliosides in rabbit sciatic nerve using [3H]-glucosamine, a radiolabelled precursor of ganglioside synthesis. In such studies it is imperative to remove acid soluble contaminants from the ganglioside fractions. Therefore, we have also studied the behavior of several such potential contaminants in procedures commonly employed to isolate gangliosides. The results from both of these studies are discussed herein.
KeywordsDorsal Root Ganglion Sciatic Nerve Sialic Acid Neuronal Cell Body Nucleotide Sugar
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