Composition of Lipids in Elasmobranch Electric Organ and Acetylcholine Receptor Membranes

Nora P. Rotstein, Hugo R. Arias, Francisco J. Barrantes, M. I. Aveldaño

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38 Scopus citations


Abstract: The composition of phospholipids from electric organ and from membranes enriched in acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) is analyzed in three elasmobranch fish (Torpedo marmorata, Torpedo californica, and Discopyge tschudii). Irrespective of their purity, AChR‐containing membranes are similar to electric organ in lipid and fatty acid composition. The following characteristics are common to the three species: (a) Choline, ethanolamine, and serine glycerophospholipids account for 80–90% of the phospholipids. (b) Their major fatty acid constituents are monoenes, saturates, and long‐chain (n‐3) polyenes (especially docosahexaenoate). (c) A large proportion of (he ethanolamine glycerophospholipids (30–50%) is made up by plasmenylethanolamine, which contains fewer polyenes than phosphatidylethanolamine per mole of lipid. (d) Poly‐phosphoinositides represent 20–30% of the inositides of electric organ, (e) Phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidate have large proportions of 20‐and 22‐carbon polyenes. (f) Diphosphatidylglycerol and triacylglycerols are rich in oleate but also contain long‐chain polyenes. (g) Sphingo‐myelin has monoenes and saturates ranging from 14 to 26 carbons. Species‐related variations are observed (a) in the ratios between some phospholipid classes and subclasses and (b) in the relative abundance of the major polyunsatu‐rated acyl chains of phospholipids. Despite these differences, the average unsaturation and length of fatty acids in major phospholipid classes are similar for the three species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-1340
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylcholine receptor membranes
  • Docosahexaenoate
  • Electroplax
  • Ethanolamine glycerophospholipids
  • Phosphatidylcholine
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Polyphosphoinositides
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Sphingomyelin


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