Differences in the metabolism of inositol and phosphoinositides by cultured cells of neuronal and glial origin

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1989 Aug 8;1004(2):169-79. doi: 10.1016/0005-2760(89)90265-8.


Phosphoinositide and inositol metabolism was compared in glioma (C6), neuroblastoma (N1E-115) and neuroblastoma X glioma hybrid (NG 108-15) cells. All cell lines had similar proportions of phosphatidylinositol (PI), phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PIP), and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2). Neuroblastoma and hybrid cells had almost identical phospholipid and phosphoinositide compositions and similar activities for the enzymes metabolizing polyphosphoinositides (PI kinase, PIP phosphatase, PIP kinase, PIP2 phosphatase, PIP2 phosphodiesterase). Glioma cells differed by having greater proportions of ethanolamine plasmalogen and sphingomyelin, lower PIP kinase, 3-5-fold higher PIP phosphatase activity and 10-15-fold greater PIP2 phosphodiesterase activity. Higher PIP phosphatase and PIP2 diesterase activities appear to be characteristic of cells of glial origin, since similar activities were found in primary cultures of astroglia. Glioma cells also metabolize inositol differently. In pulse and pulse-chase experiments, glioma cells transported inositol into a much larger water-soluble intracellular pool and maintained a concentration gradient 30-times greater than neuroblastoma cells. Label in intracellular inositol was less than in phosphoinositides in neuroblastoma and exchanged rapidly with extracellular inositol. In glioma, labeling of intracellular inositol greatly exceeded that of phosphoinositides. As a consequence, radioactivity in prelabeled phosphoinositides could not be effectively chased from glioma cells by excess unlabeled inositol. Such differences between cells of neuronal and glial origin suggest different and possibly supportive roles for these two cell types in maintaining functions regulated through phosphoinositide-linked signalling systems in the central nervous system.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-Phosphatidylinositol 4-Kinase
  • Animals
  • Glioma / metabolism
  • Hybrid Cells
  • Inositol / metabolism*
  • Neuroblastoma / metabolism
  • Neuroglia / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-Diphosphate
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates*
  • Phosphatidylinositols / metabolism*
  • Phosphoinositide Phospholipase C
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)*
  • Phosphotransferases / metabolism
  • Plasmalogens / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Sphingomyelins / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-Diphosphate
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates
  • Phosphatidylinositols
  • Plasmalogens
  • Sphingomyelins
  • phosphatidal ethanolamines
  • phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate
  • Inositol
  • Phosphotransferases
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)
  • 1-Phosphatidylinositol 4-Kinase
  • 1-phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate 5-kinase
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • phosphoinositide 5-phosphatase
  • phosphatidylinositol-3,4-bisphosphate 4-phosphatase
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • Phosphoinositide Phospholipase C