The Role of Phospholipids in Receptor Binding in the Nervous System

  • Michael Giesing
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 72)


Nerve tissue is richer in phospholipids (PL) than most other parenchymal organs. Furthermore, neurons and glia contain very small amounts of neutral lipids, i.e. free fatty acids, triacylglycerols and cholesteryl esters. The averaged PL/protein ratio of close to one (Giesing, 1978) is suggestive of a dynamic protein-lipid interplay serving as the control framework of specific membrane functions, i.e. neurotransmitter receptor binding and transmission of signals across the lipid bilayer. The fluidity of membrane lipids has been established as an essential determinant in a variety of membrane-associated events that are common in all component cells. Chemical effectors of membrane fluidity are — in order of significance — the level of cholesterol (Shinitzky and Henkart, 1979), the degree of saturation of the acyl chains, the level of sphingoniyelin (Barenholz and Thompson, 1980), the ratio phosphatidylethanolamine/phosphatidylcholine (Hirata and Axelrod, 1980) and the ratio protein/lipid (Shinitzky and Henkart, 1979).


Receptor Binding Adenylate Cyclase Synaptic Plasma Membrane Lipid Fluidity Cerebroside Sulfate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Giesing
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Labor für NervengewebekulturInstitut für Physiologische Chemie der UniversitätBonnGFR
  2. 2.A. Nattermann & Cie. GmbHKöln 30Germany

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