A procedure for the quantitative isolation of brain gangliosides

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1980 Jan 18;617(1):97-109. doi: 10.1016/0005-2760(80)90227-1.


In a systematic study of the optimal conditions for the quantitative isolation of gangliosides from brain tissue and their further purification the yield of gangliosides obtained by extraction of the tissue twice with twenty volumes of chloroform/methanol/water (4 : 8 : 3, v/v) was larger than that obtained with all other solvents tested, including tetrahydrofuran/phosphate buffer. The gangliosides were separated from other lipids by phase partition, water was added to the total lipid extract to give a final chloroform/methanol/water volume ratio of 4 : 8 : 5.6. Isolation of gangliosides from the total lipid extract with the aid of anion-exchange resins was not practical as a routine procedure on a large scale. The crude gangliosides extract was freed from low molecular weight contaminants by dialysis against water. This method was superior to the purification on gel filtration media or on anion-exchange resins, which required large columns with selective losses of gangliosides as a result. The present method has been applied to human brain, and the concentration and distribution of gangliosides in the human forebrain in infancy and old age are given.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry*
  • Cattle
  • Chloroform
  • Chromatography, Ion Exchange / methods
  • Dialysis / methods
  • Furans
  • Gangliosides / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Methanol
  • Middle Aged
  • Water


  • Furans
  • Gangliosides
  • Water
  • tetrahydrofuran
  • Chloroform
  • Methanol