Whole embryo culture (WEC) of organogenesis-stage mouse embryos was adapted for glycosphingolipid (GSL) metabolic studies to evaluate the hypothesis that de novo GSL biosynthesis is a prerequisite for growth and morphogenesis of the early postimplantation embryo. WEC supports the growth and development of postimplantation mouse embryos to stages that are indistinguishable from those achieved in vivo. N- Butyldeoxygalactonojirimycin (NB-DGJ) is an N-alkylated imino sugar that specifically inhibits biosynthesis of all glucosylceramide-based GSLs. NB- DGJ inhibited glucosylceramide and lactosylceramide biosynthesis nearly completely and inhibited ganglioside biosynthesis ~90% in both the embryo and visceral yolk sac. NB-DGJ also significantly reduced total ganglioside content in both the embryo and visceral yolk sac as estimated by the cholera toxin immunooverlay technique. A shift in expression from the structurally simple to the structurally complex gangliosides was also observed in NB-DGJ- treated embryos and yolk sacs. Despite causing major changes in GSL biosynthesis and composition, NB-DGJ had no effect on embryo viability, growth, or morphology. The findings suggest that de novo GSL biosynthesis may not be a prerequisite for the growth and morphogenesis of the organogenesis- stage mouse embryo.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of neurochemistry|
|State||Published - Feb 1998|
- Whole embryo culture
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience