Gangliosides are the binding substances in neural cells for tetanus and botulinum toxins in mice

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1999 Oct 18;1441(1):1-3. doi: 10.1016/s1388-1981(99)00140-7.


We used the knockout mice lacking gangliosides and evaluated their response to tetanus and botulinum toxins. We found that tetanus toxin and botulinum type A or B toxin was less toxic in the knockout mice. We conclude that the toxins bind to the gangliosides on the synapses in the initial step of intoxication prior to penetration of the toxins into the neural cells.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Botulinum Toxins / metabolism
  • Botulinum Toxins / toxicity*
  • Gangliosides / genetics
  • Gangliosides / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Tetanus Toxin / metabolism
  • Tetanus Toxin / toxicity*


  • Gangliosides
  • Tetanus Toxin
  • Botulinum Toxins