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July 1968

Neutral Lipid Patterns of Normal and Pathologic Nervous Tissue: Studies by Thin-Layer Chromatography

Author Affiliations

From the departments of neurosurgery (Dr. Smith) and biochemistry (Dr. White), University of Mississippi School of Medicine, Jackson, Miss.

Arch Neurol. 1968;19(1):54-59. doi:10.1001/archneur.1968.00480010072005

THE HIGH proportion of lipid in adult nervous tissue consists principally of free sterol as cholesterol, phospholipid, and cerebroside. Other lipid classes, particularly those included under the heading neutral lipid, are normally found only in small amount. Practically all the cholesterol is nonesterified.1

Alterations in this typical lipid pattern, however, are found under various pathological conditions. During wallerian degeneration of nerve, the concentration of cholesteryl ester increased2 whereas triglyceride decreased rapidly soon after section but later returned to normal.2,3 Cerebral white matter from patients with multiple sclerosis contained varying amounts of cholesteryl ester4-7 and increased levels of triglyceride.5 On the other hand, elevated amounts of steryl ester were not found in the brain tissue of patients with metachromatic type of diffuse sclerosis4 or several other demyelinating diseases.6

In studies with human intracranial tumors, departure from the lipid class spectrum characteristic of

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