We have used genetic dissection to study the cellular localization of gangliosides in the mouse cerebellum. This method employs a series of mouse mutations that destroy specific populations of cerebellar neurons at precise stages of development. By correlating the well documented histological changes occurring in these mutants with changes in ganglioside composition, we have obtained strong evidence for a non-random cellular distribution of gangliosides. Most notably, GD1a is more enriched in granule cells that in Purkinje cells, whereas the opposite is true for GT1a. GD3, on the other hand, is heavily enriched in reactive glia and may serve as a useful biochemical marker for the presence of reactive glia in neurological disease. The continued study of gangliosides in the various mouse mutants will help elucidate their cellular localization in the CNS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)