Galactocerebrosides are required postnatally for stromal-dependent bone marrow lymphopoiesis

Yoshio Katayama, Paul S. Frenette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Galactocerebrosides (GCs) represent a major class of glycolipids in the nervous system. Here, we show that mice lacking the key enzyme to generate GCs, UDP-galactose:ceramide galactosyltransferase (CGT-/-), exhibit severe postnatal atrophy of all lymphoid organs, owing to a maturational arrest before the pro-B/T cell stage. This lineage-specific defect originates from the bone marrow (BM) stroma since it is not transplantable to irradiated wild-type recipients. Remarkably, CGT-/- long-term B lymphoid BM cultures displayed severe deficits in the number of CD45negVCAM-1pos stromal cells and fibronectin matrix assembly, and produced floating macrophages rather than B lymphocytes. The fibronectin network was also altered in the CGT-deficient BM parenchyma. These results point to an essential role for galactolipids in the formation of fibronectin-enriched lymphoid-specific stromal niches in the BM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-800
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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