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Keywords:

  • Phospholipids;
  • Phosphatidylinositol;
  • Neurite;
  • Septal neurons;
  • Protein kinase C;
  • Na+,K+-ATPase

Abstract: Neurite-promoting activities of lipids were assessed using serum-free cultures of fetal rat septal neurons. The most potent one was phosphatidylinositol (PI), followed by PI 4-phosphate, phosphatidylserine, sphingomyelin, and phosphatidylcholine. The EC50 value for PI was 1.5 μg/ml (1.8 μM), and activity was maximal at 4 μg/ml (56% of total cells had neurites after 24 h). Cerebroside, sulfatide, and di- and triacylglycerols showed relatively low activities. Synthetic dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine was also active, with a maximal activity (47%) at 100 μg/ml, a finding implying that the unsaturated fatty acid moiety is not released and further used as substrate for the arachidonic acid cascade. Lysophospholipids, phosphatidylglycerol, and cardiolipin were rather cytotoxic and lacked activity, an observation suggesting that membrane perturbation is not responsible for the neuritepromoting activity. Treatment with a protein kinase C inhibitor, H-7, or an Na+,K+-ATPase inhibitor, ouabain, inhibited the PI-induced neurite outgrowth, but the cyclic AMP- and cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitor HA1004 did not inhibit this activity, a result indicating that multiple elements (protein kinase C and Na+,K+-ATPase) are involved in the induction of neurites. Because phospholipids can be provided either as lipid vesicles or as lipoproteins produced by macrophages at regeneration sites, they may play an important role in the regeneration of certain populations of neurons.