A lipidomics atlas of selected sphingolipids in multiple mouse nervous system regions

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3 Scopus citations


Many lipids, including sphingolipids, are essential components of the nervous system. Sphingolipids play critical roles in maintaining the membrane structure and integrity and in cell signaling. We used a multi-dimensional mass spectrometry-based shotgun lipidomics platform to selectively analyze the lipid species profiles of ceramide, sphingomyelin, cerebroside, and sulfatide; these four classes of sphingolipids are found in the central nervous system (CNS) (the cerebrum, brain stem, and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system (PNS) (the sciatic nerve) tissues of young adult wild-type mice. Our results revealed that the lipid species profiles of the four sphingolipid classes in the different nervous tissues were highly distinct. In addition, the mRNA expression of sphingolipid metabolism genes—including the ceramidase synthases that specifically acylate the N-acyl chain of ceramide species and sphingomyelinases that cleave sphingomyelins generating ceramides—were analyzed in the mouse cerebrum and spinal cord tissue in order to better understand the sphingolipid profile differences observed between these nervous tissues. We found that the distinct profiles of the determined sphingolipids were consistent with the high selectivity of ceramide synthases and provided a potential mechanism to explain region-specific CNS ceramide and sphingomyelin levels. In conclusion, we portray for the first time a lipidomics atlas of select sphingolipids in multiple nervous system regions and believe that this type of knowledge could be very useful for better understanding the role of this lipid category in the nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11358
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • Ceramide synthases
  • Lipid profiling
  • Lipidomics
  • Nervous system
  • Sphingolipid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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