We have recently reported that L-serine released from astroglial cells supports the survival and neuritogenesis of hippocampal neurons under a serum- and glia-free culture condition (Mitoma, J., Furuya, S., and Hirabayashi, Y. (1998) Neurosci. Res. 30, 195-199). In this study, we show that exogenous L-serine is required for the synthesis of phosphatidyl-L- serine (PS) and sphingolipids in hippocampal neurons. When hippocampal neurons were maintained under an astroglial cell-free condition, the levels of sphingolipids and phosphatidyl-L-serine in the neurons were greatly reduced in the absence of external L-serine or glycine. Instead, a novel phospholipid appeared just ahead of PS on TLC. This novel lipid was determined to be phosphatidyl-L-threonine by TLC blotting/negative secondary ion mass spectrometry and amino acid analysis. Biochemical studies on rat brain microsomes have indicated that phosphatidyl-L-threonine is synthesized by the base exchange enzyme that is involved in PS synthesis with much lower affinity, that is, approximately 1/150 of L-serine. Addition of L-serine or glycine to the culture medium restored the synthesis of PS and sphingolipids in the neurons. These observations show that hippocampal neurons require exogenous L-serine for the synthesis of PS and sphingolipids in the absence of astroglial cells and suggested that astroglial cells contribute to neuronal lipid synthesis through the supply of L-serine.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology