Selective extraction and effective separation of galactosylsphingosine (Psychosine) and glucosylsphingosine from other glycosphingolipids in pathological tissue samples

Yu Teh Li, Su Chen Li, Wayne R. Buck, Mark E. Haskins, Sz Wei Wu, Kay Hooi Khoo, Ellen Sidransky, Bruce A. Bunnell

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9 Scopus citations


To facilitate the study of the chemical pathology of galactosylsphingosine (psychosine, GalSph) in Krabbe disease and glucosylsphingosine (GlcSph) in Gaucher disease, we have devised a facile method for the effective separation of these two glycosylsphingosines from other glycosphingolipids (GSLs) in Krabbe brain and Gaucher spleen samples. The procedure involves the use of acetone to selectively extract GalSph and GlcSph, respectively, from Krabbe brain and Gaucher spleen samples. Since acetone does not extract other GSLs except modest amounts of galactosylceramide, sulfatide, and glucosylceramide, the positively charged GalSph or GlcSph in the acetone extract can be readily separated from other GSLs by batchwise cation-exchange chromatography using a Waters Accell Plus CM Cartridge. GalSph or GlcSph enriched by this simple procedure can be readily analyzed by thin-layer chromatography or high-performance liquid chromatography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1612-1622
Number of pages11
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Galactosylsphingosine
  • Gaucher disease
  • Glucosylsphingosine
  • Krabbe disease
  • Psychosine

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