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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Promotion of survival and neurite outgrowth of cultured peripheral neurons by exogenous lipids and detergents.

Gangliosides, in particular the monosialoglycosphingolipids Gtet 1 (GM1), have previously been implicated in the mediation of neuronal rescue and restitutional axonal growth, both in vitro and subsequent to brain and peripheral nerve lesions. In the present study it is shown that the bis-sialosyl gangliosides Gtet2b and Gtet3b, but not the gangliosides Gtet2a and Gtet1, promote the survival of dissociated dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons cultured from Embryonic Day (E) 8 chicks (DRG8) almost to the same extent as nerve growth factor ( NGF). Ciliary ganglion (CG) neurons from E8 chicks (CG8) and DRG10 neurons were virtually not supported suggesting considerable specificity in terms of neuronal targets and developmental stages being addressed. Moreover, a variety of other lipids including cerebroside (Cb), dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and -serine (DPPS), sulfatide (Sf), and sphingomyelin (Sm) were tested for putative survival promoting activity toward chick CG, DRG, and lumbar sympathetic ganglion (SG11) neurons. At the highest concentration employed (2.5 x 10(-5) M), Sm, DPPC, and DPPS maintained between 45 and 65% of the plateau survival with CG8 (maximally supported by ciliary neuronotrophic factor (CNTF], DRG8, and DRG10 neurons, and 30 to 40% with SG11 neurons. Cb supported CG8 neurons at about 55% of the plateau value achieved with CNTF, but had hardly any effect on the other neuron populations tested. Control experiments using highly enriched neurons and serum-free conditions assured that the effects were unlikely to be mediated by serum components or nonneuronal cells. A variety of detergents, in particular Triton X-100, also promoted the survival of CG8 and DRG10 neurons. Ganglioside Gtet1, Sm, and Triton X-100 shifted the NGF titration curve for DRG10 neurons between 6- and 15-fold in a dose-dependent manner suggesting synergisms between NGF and lipids for neuronal maintenance. These results document the neuronotrophic potency of certain gangliosides, a heterogeneous group of structurally unrelated lipids, and detergents. The mechanisms by which these agents modulate neuronal survival still await clarification.[1]


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