Glycosphingolipid composition of rat placenta: Changes associated with stage of pregnancy

S. Itonori, T. Shirai, Y. Kiso, Y. Ohashi, K. Shiota*, T. Ogawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The composition of glycolipids and their changes in the placenta were investigated in the normal pregnant rat. Total lipid fractions extracted from the placenta between days 12 and 20 of pregnancy (day 0 = oestrus) were subjected to glycolipid analysis using DEAE-Sephadex chromatography, silica-gel HPLC, silica-gel TLC, TLC/immunostaining, matrix-assisted secondary-ion mass spectrometry in the negative-ion mode and 1H NMR. Glycolipids identified in the rat placenta were: gangliosides G(M3) (NeuAcLacCer and NeuGcLacCer) and G(D3) (NeuAcNeuAcLacCer, NeuAcNeuGcLacCer and NeuGcNeuAcLacCer), and neutral glycolipids ceramide monosaccharide (CMH) (GlcCer), ceramide disaccharide (CDH) (LacCer), ceramide trisaccharide (CTH) (Gb3Cer) and ceramide tetrasaccharide (CQH) (Gb4Cer). The content of neutral glycolipids was higher than that of gangliosides throughout pregnancy. Of the neutral glycolipids, CMH and CTH predominated and the level of CDH was low at mid-pregnancy. During late pregnancy, CMH and CTH decreased and CDH increased markedly. CQH remained at a low level throughout pregnancy. Of the gangliosides, G(M3) was predominant on days 12-16 and then decreased, whereas G(D3) which was low on day 12, increased slightly on day 16 and maintained the same level thereafter. Immunohistochemical studies indicated that these changes in the expression of major gangliosides from G(M3) to G(D3) occurred in labyrinthine trophoblasts. Thus expression of these glycolipids appears to change markedly during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-405
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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