Advances on the compositional analysis of glycosphingolipids combining thin-layer chromatography with mass spectrometry.
Gangliosides from histopathologically-defined human cerebrum-resembling remnant and cerebellum from 37 and 30 gestational week-old anencephaluses were identified using mass spectrometry and high performance thin layer chromatography combined with immunochemical analysis in comparison to respective normal newborn/fetal and adult brain regions. A novel strategy of nano-electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight tandem MS has been developed for identification of ganglioside components in complex mixtures. By morphoanatomical and histological investigation the anencephalic cerebral remnant was found to be aberrant, while the anencephalic cerebellum was defined as normal. Total ganglioside concentrations in the anencephalic cerebral remnant and the cerebellum were 34% and 13% lower in relation to the age-matched controls. In the cerebral remnant, GD3, GM2 and GT1b were elevated, while GD1a was decreased in the anencephalic cerebral remnant, but enriched in anencephalic cerebellum. GQ1b was reduced in both anencephalic regions. Gg4Cer, GM1b and GD1alpha, members of the alpha-series biosynthetic pathway, and neolacto-series gangliosides were found to be present in anencephalic, as well as in normal, fetal and adult brain tissues, indicating the occurrence of these biosynthetic pathways in human brain. In both cerebral and cerebellar anencephalic tissues, GM1b, GD1alpha, nLM1 and nLD1 were expressed at a higher rate in relation to normal tissue. It can be demonstrated that the anencephalic cerebral remnant, as a primitive brain structure, represents a naturally-occurring model to study the ganglioside involvement in induction of aberrant brain development.