Analysis of sulfatide from rat cerebellum and multiple sclerosis white matter by negative ion electrospray mass spectrometry

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Feb 24;1484(1):59-70. doi: 10.1016/s1388-1981(99)00201-2.


The accumulation of sulfatide (sulfatogalactosyl cerebroside) and changes in the sulfatide species present have been examined in the cerebellum of day 6-32 aged rats and in multiple sclerosis (MS) tissue samples. Negative ion electrospray mass spectrometry with daughter and parent ion analyses were used to distinguish the fatty acyl character in the amide linkage of sulfatide; measurement was done by selected ion and multiple reaction monitoring of individually identified sulfatide molecules. Sulfatide accumulation in rat cerebellum shows that 18:0- and hydroxylated 18:0-sulfatide are the first sulfatide molecules detectable. Very long fatty acyl chain sulfatide molecules (>20:0) are present at day 7 and the ratio of non-hydroxylated compared to hydroxylated sulfatide rises as the amount of non-hydroxylated sulfatide increases. 24:1-sulfatide accumulates at a ratio of about 3:1 over 24:0-sulfatide during active myelination. Analyses of the sulfatide in human tissue have shown differences between MS plaque tissues, normal appearing adjacent white matter and control tissues. The findings show that total sulfatide is reduced by 60% in the plaque matter and decreased 25% in adjacent normal appearing white matter. There are significant increases (P=0.05) in the amount of hydroxylation of sulfatide, demonstrated by an increase in the percentage of hydroxylated h24:0-sulfatide (hydroxy-lignoceroyl sulfatide).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Cerebellum / metabolism*
  • Demyelinating Diseases / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / metabolism*
  • Myelin Proteins / chemistry
  • Myelin Proteins / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sulfoglycosphingolipids / chemistry*
  • Sulfoglycosphingolipids / metabolism


  • Myelin Proteins
  • Sulfoglycosphingolipids