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Sulfatides (Sulfogalactosylceramides)

A sulfatide is a type of sulfolipid that is found primarily in the central nervous system and is a myelin-specific sphingolipid. A deficiency of sulfatides in white and gray matter has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Apoliprotein E plays an important regulating role in the metabolism of sulfatides.1 The production of anti-sulfatide antibodies in the cerebrospinal fluid, resulting in a deficiency of sulfatides, may cause degeneration of the myelin sheath leading to multiple sclerosis.2 Metachromatic leukodystrophy is an inherited disorder characterized by a deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme arylsulfatase A and the subsequent toxic accumulation of sulfatide in neural and visceral tissues.3 An immunomodulatory role for sulfatides has been suggested in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis.

References:

  1. H. Cheng, Y. Zhou, D. M. Holtzman, X. Han “Apolipoprotein E mediates sulfatide depletion in animal models of Alzheimer's disease.” Neurobiology of Aging, Vol. 31(7):1188-1196 2010
  2. Ramesh C. Halder, A. Jahng, I. Maricic and Vipin Kumar “Mini Review: Immune Response to Myelin-Derived Sulfatide and CNS-Demyelination” Neurochemical Research, Vol. 32(2): 257, 2007
  3. Phillip D. Whitfield, Peter C. Sharp, David W. Johnson, Paul Nelson and Peter J. Meikle “Characterization of Urinary Sulfatides in Metachromatic Leukodystrophy Using Electrospray Ionization-Tandem Mass Spectrometry” Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, Vol. 73(1): 30, 2001

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