Gangliosides are glycosphingolipids which are particularly abundant in the plasma membrane of mammalian neurons. The knowledge of their presence in the human brain dates back to the end of 19th century, but their structure was determined much later, in the middle of the 1950s. From this time, neurochemical studies suggested that gangliosides, and particularly GM1 ganglioside, display neurotrophic and neuroprotective properties. The involvement of GM1 in modulating neuronal processes has been studied in detail by in vitro experiments, and the results indicated its direct role in modulating the activity of neurotrophin-dependent receptor signaling, the flux of calcium through the plasma membrane, and stabilizing the correct conformation of proteins, such as α-synuclein. Following, in vivo experiments supported the use of ganglioside drugs for the therapy of peripheral neuropathies, obtaining very positive results. However, the clinical use of gangliosides for the treatment of central neurodegeneration has not been followed due to the poor penetrability of these lipids at the central level. This, together with an ambiguous association (later denied) between ganglioside administration and Guillain-Barrè syndrome, led to the suspension of ganglioside drugs. In this critical review, we report on the evolution of research on gangliosides, on the current knowledge on the role played by gangliosides in regulating the biology of neurons, on the past and present use of ganglioside-based drugs used for therapy of peripheral neuropathies or used in human trials for central neurodegenerations, and on the therapeutic potential represented by the oligosaccharide chain of GM1 ganglioside for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Gangliosides and the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Long Italian Tradition / M. Fazzari, G. Lunghi, E. Chiricozzi, L. Mauri, S. Sonnino. - In: BIOMEDICINES. - ISSN 2227-9059. - 10:2(2022 Feb 02), pp. 363.1-363.13. [10.3390/biomedicines10020363]

Gangliosides and the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Long Italian Tradition

M. Fazzari
Primo
;
G. Lunghi
Secondo
;
E. Chiricozzi;L. Mauri
Penultimo
;
S. Sonnino
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Gangliosides are glycosphingolipids which are particularly abundant in the plasma membrane of mammalian neurons. The knowledge of their presence in the human brain dates back to the end of 19th century, but their structure was determined much later, in the middle of the 1950s. From this time, neurochemical studies suggested that gangliosides, and particularly GM1 ganglioside, display neurotrophic and neuroprotective properties. The involvement of GM1 in modulating neuronal processes has been studied in detail by in vitro experiments, and the results indicated its direct role in modulating the activity of neurotrophin-dependent receptor signaling, the flux of calcium through the plasma membrane, and stabilizing the correct conformation of proteins, such as α-synuclein. Following, in vivo experiments supported the use of ganglioside drugs for the therapy of peripheral neuropathies, obtaining very positive results. However, the clinical use of gangliosides for the treatment of central neurodegeneration has not been followed due to the poor penetrability of these lipids at the central level. This, together with an ambiguous association (later denied) between ganglioside administration and Guillain-Barrè syndrome, led to the suspension of ganglioside drugs. In this critical review, we report on the evolution of research on gangliosides, on the current knowledge on the role played by gangliosides in regulating the biology of neurons, on the past and present use of ganglioside-based drugs used for therapy of peripheral neuropathies or used in human trials for central neurodegenerations, and on the therapeutic potential represented by the oligosaccharide chain of GM1 ganglioside for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
GM1 ganglioside; GM1 oligosaccharide; ganglioside; neurodegeneration; plasma–membrane interaction;
Settore BIO/10 - Biochimica
2-feb-2022
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/1016193
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