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Keywords:

  • Development—Neural differentiation—Ganglioside glycosyl-transferases—Retina gangliosides;
  • Daniotti J. L. et al. GD3 prevalence in adult rat retina correlates with the maintenance of a high GD3-/GM2-synthase activity ratio throughout development

Abstract

Unlike neurons from avian retina and other regions of avian and mammalian brain, neurons from mammalian retina not only contain gangliosides of the gangliotetraosyl ceramide series but also maintain a prevalence of GD3, a gangliosidc of the lactosylceramidc series characteristic of proliferative neural cells, when they are fully differentiated. We show here that GD3 is prevalent at all developmental periods of the rat retina from birth [50% of total gangliosidic N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu NAc)] to adult (30% of total gangliosidic Neu NAc). GD3-synthase specific activity increased about 1.5-fold from birth to day 7 and essentially plateaued thereafter. The GD3-/GM2-synthase specific activity ratio was compared in rat and chicken retina at early and late developmental stages. In chicken retina the ratio was about 0.7 at early (when GD3 is prevalent) and decreased to 0.07 at late (when GDI a is prevalent) developmental stages. In rat retina the ratio was about 13 and 6 at, respectively, early and late developmental stages. These findings suggest that the prevalence of GD3 and of other “b” pathway gangliosides in adult rat retina neurons could be due in part to the maintenance of a high GD3-/GM2-synthase activity ratio throughout development of the tissue.