Role of Myelin‐Associated Neuraminidase in the Ganglioside Metabolism of Rat Brain Myelin

Megumi Saito, Robert K. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Abstract: The role of myelin‐associated neuraminidase in ganglioside metabolism was examined using rats of ages ranging from 17 to 97 days. The neuraminidase activity directed toward the ganglioside GM3 in the total myelin fraction was high during the period of active myelination and, thereafter, decreased rapidly to the adult level. The ganglioside composition became simpler during development with an increasing amount of GM1 and decreasing percentages of di‐and polysialogangliosides. The decrease in the proportion of GD1a was most prominent, whereas relative amounts of GD1b and GT1b increased transiently before reducing to the adult levels. The heavy myelin subfraction contained higher percentages of di‐and polysialo‐species compared to the light myelin fraction at young and adult ages. The in vitro incubation of myelin of young rats under an optimal condition for neuraminidase action produced a profile of ganglioside changes similar to that observed in in vivo development. These results strongly suggest that myelin‐associated neuraminidase may play a pivotal role in the developmental changes in the ganglioside composition of rat brain myelin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Gangliosides
  • Myelin
  • Myelin subfractions
  • Myelination
  • Neuraminidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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