Role of Lipids in the Assembly of Endoplasmic Reticulum and Dictyosomes in Neuronal Cells from the Cerebral Cortex of Yakutian Ground Squirrel (Citellus undulatus) during Hibernation

Kolomiytseva, I. K.; Perepelkina, N. I.; Patrushev, I. V.; Popov, V. I.
July 2003
Biochemistry (00062979);Jul2003, Vol. 68 Issue 7, p783
Academic Journal
Phospholipids and cholesterol were assayed in homogenates and microsomal fractions from the cerebral cortex of summer-active, winter-torpid, and winter-active Yakutian ground squirrels (Citellus undulatus). Ultrastructural analysis of both microsomal fraction and intact neurons was performed by serial ultramicrotomy. The levels of sphingomyelin (SM), phosphatidylserine (PS), and phosphatidylethanolamine (PEA) were decreased in homogenates from the cerebral cortex of winter ground squirrels compared with the summer-active animals, while the levels of phosphatidylcholine (PC) and cardiolipin (CL) were increased. The level of cholesterol was decreased in the cerebral cortex of winter-torpid animals compared with both winter-active and summer-active animals, and the level of total phospholipids was decreased in comparison to the summer-active animals. Three-dimensional reconstruction of serial membrane profiles displayed the microsomal fraction to be an interconnected system of cisterns and vesicles, which corresponds to endoplasmic reticulum and dictyosomes (Golgi stacks) of intact neurons. In winter the content of PC was increased in the microsomal fraction, while the contents of lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), PS, phosphatidylinositol (PI), and SM were decreased. In winter-torpid animals compared with the winter-active ones the contents of total phospholipids, PEA, LPC, and cholesterol were decreased. As for the winter-active ground squirrels, their lipid contents did not differ from those in the summer-active animals, but LPC content was decreased. The changes in microsomal lipid contents in intact pyramidal neurons throughout the hibernation were accompanied by disassembly of dictyosomes and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), including the decomposition of polyribosomes to monosomes. The ultrastructural analysis of nucleoli, ER, and dictyosomes of both winter-active and torpid ground squirrels showed a direct correlation between the increasing contents of both cholesterol and total phospholipids (mainly PEA and LPC) in microsomes and the structural recovery of endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi stacks, and nucleoli in intact pyramidal neurons. A role of seasonal variations in lipid contents of brain cells in their adaptation to low temperature is discussed. We also propose an involvement of cholesterol in the activation of protein-synthesizing function of endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi stacks in intact neurons.


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