The Journal of biological chemistry

Modulation of sphingolipid biosynthesis in primary cultured neurons by long chain bases.

PMID 2111818


Sphingolipid biosynthesis was studied in cultured murine cerebellar cells in the absence and presence of exogenous sphingosine homologues with different alkyl chain lengths (12, 18, and 24 carbon atoms). Labeling of cells with [14C]serine for 24 h indicated that endogenous sphingosine biosynthesis with incorporation of radiolabeled serine was inhibited by these long chain bases (0.5-50 microM) in a concentration-dependent manner; the inhibition was fully reversible after removal of the long chain bases from the culture medium. Metabolic labeling of neurons with [14C]galactose provided strong evidence that the cells were able to use the exogenous sphingosine homologues, irrespective of their alkyl chain length, as substrates for the biosynthesis of glycosphingolipids. When the biosynthetically inert sphingoid, azidosphingosine (5-50 microM), was fed to the cells, de novo sphingosine and glycosphingolipid biosynthesis were both strongly inhibited.