We have examined the ganglioside composition of 30‐day and 60‐day postnatal rat oligodendroglia, adult bovine oligodendroglia, gray matter, white matter, and myelin and also the total lipid composition of the oligodendroglial preparations. The ganglioside patterns of rat and bovine oligodendroglia, as previously found for human oligodendroglia, were more complex than those of myelin. These data indicate that oligodendroglial perikarya can synthesize many brain type gangliosides, not all of which are incorporated into the compact myelin. Alternatively, the ganglioside composition of myelin may be altered in situ by the myelin‐associated neuraminidase. In these two species, as in human, GM4 appears specific to oligodendroglia and myelin, while GD3 and GM3 are enriched in oligodendroglia but not myelin. In bovine oligodendrocytes GD3 is the major ganglioside. The total lipid concentration, as well as the percentage of cholesterol, sphingomyelin, phosphatidylinositol, and phosphatidylserine, differ for 30‐ and 60‐day‐old rat oligodendroglia and may be developmentally correlated with changes in myelin composition during myelinogenesis. There are also marked differences in the lipid composition of bovine oligodendroglia compared to rat oligodendroglia, with the former having more galactolipid and less ethanolamine phosphoglycerides.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience