Elevated GM2 ganglioside is associated with dendritic proliferation in normal developing neocortex

Linda A. Goodman, Steven U. Walkley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Mature pyramidal neurons of cerebral cortex in several neuronal storage diseases elaborate ectopic dendrites. These dendrites appear specifically on pyramidal neurons containing elevated GM2 ganglioside and a variety of studies support the hypothesis that this ganglioside is responsible for inducing the new dendrite growth. To determine whether a similar association between GM2 ganglioside and dendrite growth occurs in normal neurons, we used an antibody to localize GM2 in developing cat neocortex. Our results show that GM2 ganglioside is elevated in normal cortical neurons during the period when dendritogenesis is occurring, but is greatly diminished in these cells after dendritic differentiation is complete. Elevations of GM2 occur in deep neurons earlier than in superficial ones, a sequence that corresponds closely to the inside-first, outside-last progression of cortical neuron differentiation. Ultrastructurally, GM2 immunoreactivity is found sequestered in vesicles with a distribution that coincides with sites of ganglioside synthesis and transport. The close association between elevated GM2 ganglioside and dendrite growth-in cortical pyramidal neurons during normal development, coupled with a similar correlation between GM2 and ectopic dendritogenesis in neuronal storage diseases,support the view that this specific ganglioside plays a pivotal role in regulating dendritogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-171
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 31 1996


  • Dendrite growth
  • Ganglioside function
  • Ganglioside localization
  • Neocortical development
  • Pyramidal cell differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Elevated GM2 ganglioside is associated with dendritic proliferation in normal developing neocortex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this