Developmental changes of ganglioside expressions in postnatal rat cerebellar cortex

Brain Res. 1995 Nov 27;700(1-2):40-58. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(95)00923-e.


We previously described the differential distribution of gangliosides in adult rat brain as detected by specific antibodies. We report here the distribution of gangliosides during the development of postnatal rat cerebellum by an immunofluorescence technique with mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Eleven mAbs that specifically recognize each ganglioside were used. Our study revealed that the expression of each ganglioside changed dramatically during the development. GD3 and O-Ac-GD3 were expressed intensely in the external granular layer at 1, 5, and 10 days, whereas GD2 was firstly detected in the internal granular layer at 5 days and GD1b WAS diffusely detected throughout all layers of the cerebellar cortex at early postnatal days. GD2 and GD1b were more intensely expressed in the granular layer at 20, 30, and 80 days, suggesting that premature granule cells expressed GD3 and its derivative, O-Ac-GD3, whereas mature granule cells express GD2 and GD1B intensely. On the other hand, GM1 was exclusively detected in the external granular layer and the molecular layer at 1 and 5 days. The staining sites spread gradually from these outer layers into the internal granular layer and the white matter after 10 days. The positive cells in the external granular layer and the molecular layer appeared to be Bergmann glial cells and their radially ascending cytoplasmic processes. The intensity of the staining in these specialized astroglial cells decreased gradually during postnatal days. In contrast, the expression of GQ1b was very faint at birth, but gradually increased during the development and was detected intensely in the internal granular layer, particularly in the cerebellar glomeruli in adulthood, suggesting that GQ1b expression may be associated with synapse-related structures. The developmental changes of the expression of other gangliosides were also recognized in the postnatal rat cerebellum. These results suggest that specific gangliosides may play an important role in regulating the early events responsible for the orderly formation of the cerebellar cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Cerebellar Cortex / chemistry*
  • Cerebellar Cortex / growth & development*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • G(M1) Ganglioside / analysis
  • Gangliosides / analysis*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Morphogenesis
  • Nerve Growth Factors / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Gangliosides
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • ganglioside, GD1a
  • ganglioside, GD1b
  • G(M1) Ganglioside
  • ganglioside, GD3
  • GQ1b ganglioside