The sulphogalactosylglycerolipid of rat brain is closely associated with the process of myelination, as demonstrated by the following observations. 1. The lipid is barely detectable in rat brain before 10 days of age, accumulates rapidly between age 10 and 25 days, and remains relatively constant in amount (between 0.3 and 0.4μmol per brain) thereafter into adult life. 2. The activity of adenosine 3′-phosphate 5′-sulphatophosphate–galactosyldiacylglycerol sulphotransferase is almost absent before 10 days of age, attains a maximum at age 20 days, and slowly decreases thereafter with increasing age. This developmental pattern correlates well with that of other myelin-specific metabolites. 3. Both the concentration of the sulphogalactosylglycerolipid and the activity of sulphotransferase are greatly decreased in the non-myelinating jimpy mouse. 4. The myelin fraction of rat brain contains most of the sulphogalactosylglycerolipid. The lipid occurs in a diacyl and an alkylacyl form. Determinations of the relative amount of each type in brain showed about a 1:1 mixture in both 21-day-old and adult rats. Rats injected with H235SO4 at 20 days of age lost35S from the diacyl form at a higher rate than from the alkylacyl compound over a 21-day period. These data suggest that the diacyl form has a higher turnover than the alkylacyl derivative. The percentage of the total sulpholipid content of brain contributed by the sulphogalactosylglycerolipid is 16% in 21-day-old rats and 8.4% in adult rats.
- © 1977 London: The Biochemical Society