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Gangliosides (GAs) and sulfatides (STs) are acidic glycosphingolipids that are particularly abundant in the nervous system and are closely related to aging and neurodegenerative disorders. To explore their roles in brain diseases, in-depth molecular profiling, including structural variations of sphingoid backbone, fatty acyl group, and sugar chain of GAs and STs was performed. A total of 210 GAs and 38 STs were characterized in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) of human brain, with 90 GAs discovered in brain tissues for the first time. Influential MS parameters for detecting GAs and STs in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode were systematically examined and optimized to minimize in-source fragmentation, resulting in remarkable signal intensity enhancement for GAs and STs, especially for polysialylated species. To eliminate analytical variations, isotopic interference-free internal standards were prepared by simple and fast reduction reaction. The final established method facilitated the simultaneous quantitation of 184 GAs and 30 STs from 25 subtypes, which represents the highest number of GAs quantitated among all quantitation methods recorded in literature so far. The method was further validated and applied to reveal the aberrant change of GAs and STs in the IFG of 12 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Four GAs exhibited high classification capacity for AD (AUC ≥0.80) and were thereby considered the most promising signatures for AD. These findings suggested the close correlation between GAs and the pathogenesis of AD, highlighting the achievements of our robust method for investigating the roles of GAs and STs in various physiological states and diseases. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Wai-Him Chan, Lee-Fong Yau, Xiong-Yu Meng, Ka-Man Chan, Zhi-Hong Jiang, Jing-Rong Wang. Robust quantitation of gangliosides and sulfatides in human brain using UHPLC-MRM-MS: Method development and application in Alzheimer's disease. Talanta. 2023 May 01;256:124264

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PMID: 36689895

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