Antibodies to GM1(NeuGc) in Guillain-Barré syndrome after ganglioside therapy

M Odaka, N Yuki, E Nobile-Orazio, M Carpo, K Hirata
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2000 April 15, 175 (2): 96-106
N-Glycolylneuraminic acid-containing GM1 [GM1(Gc)] is a molecule for serum antibodies in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). To clarify the pathogenesis of GBS after treatment with bovine brain ganglioside, we investigated the presence of anti-GM1(Gc) antibody in patients who developed GBS after ganglioside injection. Serum samples were taken from nine Italian patients with GBS after ganglioside therapy as well as from untreated Italian (n=30) and Japanese (n=131) GBS patients. Bovine brain gangliosides fractionated in a column were used as antigens, and binding of serum IgG or IgM was examined. An absorption study of IgG anti-GM1(Gc) antibody was made with GM1, asialo-GM1, GM2, GD1a, and GD1b. Four of the nine patients who developed GBS after being administered gangliosides had IgG anti-GM1(Gc) antibodies. Anti-GM1(Gc) IgG antibody frequencies were higher in patients with GBS after ganglioside therapy than in those who were untreated. Rates of absorption of IgG anti-GM1(Gc) antibodies by GM1 were significantly higher (except for asialo-GM1 and GD1b) than by GM2 and GD1a. The presence of GM1(Gc) was confirmed in bovine brain immunochemically using cholera toxin and Hanganutziu-Deicher antibody. Secondary ion mass spectra showed that the structure of the ganglioside was consistent with that of GM1(Gc). GM1(Gc) was recognized more frequently in sera from patients who developed GBS after ganglioside therapy than in sera from untreated GBS patients. Because N-glycolylneuraminic acid-containing gangliosides seem to be highly immunogenic in humans, GM1(Gc) may act as an immunogen in some patients who develop GBS following ganglioside therapy.

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