Ganglioside GD3 is required for neurogenesis and long-term maintenance of neural stem cells in the postnatal mouse brain

Jing Wang, Allison Cheng, Chandramohan Wakade, Robert K. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The maintenance of a neural stem cell (NSC) population in mammalian postnatal and adult life is crucial for continuous neurogenesis and neural repair. However, the molecular mechanism of how NSC populations are maintained remains unclear. Gangliosides are important cellular membrane components in the nervous system. We previously showed that ganglioside GD3 plays a crucial role in the maintenance of the self-renewal capacity of NSCs in vitro. Here, we investigated its role in postnatal and adult neurogenesis in GD3-synthase knock-out (GD3S-KO) and wild-type mice. GD3S-KO mice with deficiency in GD3 and the downstream b-series gangliosides showed a progressive loss of NSCs both at the SVZ and the DG of the hippocampus. The decrease of NSC populations in the GD3S-KO mice resulted in impaired neurogenesis at the granular cell layer of the olfactory bulb and the DG in the adult. In addition, defects of the self-renewal capacity and radial glia-like stem cell outgrowth of postnatal GD3S-KO NSCs could be rescued by restoration of GD3 expression in these cells. Our study demonstrates that the b-series gangliosides, especially GD3, play a crucial role in the long-term maintenance NSC populations in postnatal mouse brain. Moreover, the impaired neurogenesis in the adult GD3S-KO mice led to depression-like behaviors. Thus, our results provide convincing evidence linking b-series gangliosides deficiency and neurogenesis defects to behavioral deficits, and support a crucial role of gangliosides in the long-term maintenance of NSCs in adult mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13790-13800
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number41
StatePublished - Oct 8 2014


  • Depression
  • EGFR
  • Ganglioside
  • Genetic model
  • Membrane microdomain
  • Radial glial cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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