Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
—Cerebroside in the brain is highly localized in myelin and has a relatively slow turnover rate. The aim of this study was to evaluate the true cerebroside biosynthetic activity under conditions in which the degradation and reutilization of brain lipids were as small as possible. The 3-week-old mice were decapitated at 0·5, 1, 2·5, 5 and 15 min after the intraperitoneal injection of labelled acetate and the incorporation of radioactivity into each lipid class was examined. Even at 0·5 min, a considerable amount of radioactivity was found in simple lipids, especially in the free fatty acid fraction, and in the course of time the radioactivity of complex lipids increased. On the other hand, the incorporation of radioactivity into cerebrosides was extremely small throughout the experimental period. Results indicated that the low radioactivity of cerebroside might be due to its high content of long-chain fatty acids which were weakly labelled. The radioactivity of the sphingosine moiety was also low. In short, one of the rate-limiting steps of cerebroside synthesis in brain might exist in long-chain fatty acid and sphingosine synthesis. In addition, the incorporation curves of each component of cerebroside were compared with each other and the difference of the incorporation pattern of non-hydroxy fatty acids of cerebroside was noted.
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