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Cephalin is a phospholipid, which is a lipid derivative. It is not to be confused with the molecule of the same name that is an alkaloid constituent of Ipecac.


Cephalin is found in all living cells, although in human physiology it is found particularly in nervous tissue such as the white matter of brain, nerves, neural tissue, and in spinal cord. Whereas Lecithin is the principal phospholipid in animals, cephalin is the principal one in bacteria. Its role in nature seems uncertain.


In the chemical sense, cephalin is phosphatidyl-ethanolamine. Like Lecithin, it consists of a combination of glycerol esterified with two fatty acids and phosphoric acid. Whereas the phosphate group is combined with choline in Lecithin, it is combined with the ethanolamine in Cephalin.

The two fatty acids may be the same, or different, and are usually in the 1,2 positions (though can be in the 1,3 positions).

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cephalin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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