Developmental Pattern for Phosphatidylserine Decarboxylase in Rat Brain

Frances V. White, Arrel D. Toews, Pierre Morell

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3 Scopus citations


Abstract: In adult rats, a significant portion of brain ethanolamine glycerophospholipids are synthesized by a pathway involving phosphatidylserine decarboxylase, a mitochondrial enzyme. We have now examined whether this enzyme plays a particularly prominent role during development. Activities for both phosphatidylserine decarboxylase and succinate dehydrogenase (another mitochondrial enzyme) were determined in brain homogenates from rats 5 days of age to adulthood. Succinate dehydrogenase activity, expressed on a per unit brain protein basis, increased markedly during development. This pattern has been reported previously and is as expected from the postnatal increase in oxidative metabolism. In contrast, phosphatidylserine decarboxylase activity decreased 40% from 5 to 30 days of age. The apparent Km for brain phosphatidylserine decarboxylase was 85 μM in both young (8‐ and 20‐day‐old) and adult animals. Parallel studies in vivo were carried out to determine the contribution of the phosphatidylserine decarboxylase pathway, relative to pathways utilizing ethanolamine directly, to the synthesis of brain ethanolamine glycerophospholipids. Animals were injected intracranially with a mixture of L‐[G‐3H]serine and [2‐14C]ethanolamine and incorporation into the base moieties of the phospholipids determined. The 3H/14C ratio of ethanolamine glycerophospholipids decreased about 50% during development. Our studies in vitro and in vivo both suggest that phosphatidylserine decarboxylase plays a significant role in the synthesis of brain ethanolamine glycerophospholipids at all ages, although it is relatively more prominent early in development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1200-1206
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1986


  • Brain mitochondria
  • Ethanolamine glycerophospholipids
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Phosphatidylserine decarboxylase
  • Phospholipid synthesis
  • Succinate dehydrogenase


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