Determination of sialic acids in the nervous system of silkworm (Bombyx moriL.): effects of aging and development

Seçkin Soya, Umut Şahar, Mehmet Salih Yıkılmaz, Sabire Karaçalı


Sialic acids mainly occur as components on cell surface glycoproteins and glycolipids. They play a major role in the chemical and biological diversity of glycoconjugates. Although sialic acids exhibit great structural variability in vertebrates, glycoconjugates with sialic acids have also been determined in small amounts in invertebrates. It has been suggested that sialic acids play important roles in the development and function of the nervous system. Despite Bombyx mori being a model organism for the investigation of many physiological processes, sialic acid changes in its nervous system have not been examined during development and aging. Therefore, in this study we aimed to determine sialic acid changes in the nervous system of Bombyx mori during development and aging processes. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and lectin immunohistochemistry were carried out in order to find variations among different developmental stages. Developmental stages were selected as 3rd instar (the youngest) and 5th larval instar (young), motionless prepupa (the oldest) and 13-day-old pupa (adult development). At all stages, only Neu5Ac was present, however, it dramatically decreased during the developmental and aging stages. On the other hand, an increase was observed in the amount of Neu5Ac during the pupal stage. In immunohistochemistry experiments with Maackia amurensis agglutinin (MAA) and Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA) lectins, the obtained staining was consistent with the obtainedLC-MS results. These findings indicate that sialic acids are abundant at the younger stages but that they decrease in the insect nervous system during development and aging, similarly as in mammals.

Received: April 1, 2016; Revised: May 13, 2016; Accepted: June 10, 2016; Published online: November 30, 2016

How to cite this article: Soya S, Şahar U, Yıkılmaz MS, Karaçalı S. Determination of sialic acids in the nervous system of silkworm (Bombyx mori L.): Effects of aging and development. Arch Biol Sci. 2017;69(2):369-78.


Sialic acids; nervous system; capLC-ESI-MS/MS; lectin immunohistochemistry; development; aging

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