Gangliosides in Neuroblastomas

Cara Lynne Schengrund, Stephen J. Shochat

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26 Scopus citations


Neuroblastomas from children presenting with tumors at various ages and different primary sites (abdominal, adrenals, pelvic, and thoracic) were studied. Analysis of the ganglioside patterns of 53 tumors indicated that patients who were either disease positive 2 yr following surgery or dead of disease, had significantly (p<0.005) less GT1b plus GD1b than tumors from patients that were disease free 2 yr post surgery. The presence of GD2 in 45 of the tumors correlates well with the suggestion that it can be used as a marker in neuroblastoma diagnosis. Children with thoracic neuroblastomas have a significantly better prognosis than children with tumors in other anatomic sites. Analysis of the ganglioside composition of these tumors only, indicated that they had a significantly higher (p<0.005) concentration of GT1b and GD1b and a significantly lower concentration (p<0.025) of monosialogangliosides than those patients who were dead of disease or had persistent disease. These results suggest that low levels of GT1b and GD1b correlate with a poor prognosis. The thoracic neuroblastomas may be comprised of more "differentiated" neuroblastoma cells (ganglioside patterns more similar to the CNS), and this may contribute to the fact that about 85% of children with thoracic neuroblastoma recover. To understand why the ganglioside pattern may serve as a prognostic indicator for neuroblastoma, it is necessary to know whether gangliosides have specific roles in neuronal differentiation. Our approach to this question is to compare the effect(s) of added ganglioside or the corresponding oligosaccharide on neuroblastoma cells. Results obtained suggest that the oligosaccharide from GM1 is able to enhance neuritogenesis by S20Y murine neuroblastoma cells to the same extent that GM1 does.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-202
Number of pages14
JournalNeurochemical Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology


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