Analysis of humoral immune responses to LM1 ganglioside in guinea pigs

Yajuan Gu, Zi Wei Chen, Allan Siegel, Ranie Koshy, Cristhian Ramirez, Timothy D. Raabe, George H. DeVries, Amjad A. Ilyas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an autoimmune-mediated disease triggered by a preceding infection. A substantial body of evidence implicates antibodies to various gangliosides in subtypes of GBS. A significant proportion of patients with acute demyelinating subset of GBS have IgG antibodies against peripheral nervous system myelin specific neolactogangliosides such as LM1 and Hex-LM1. Although anti-neolactoganglioside antibodies in GBS were described more than two decades ago, their pathogenic role in neuropathy remains unknown due to the lack of suitable experimental models. In this study, we immunized ten guinea pigs with purified LM1 ganglioside mixed with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) and emulsified in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). Control guinea pigs were injected with KLH emulsified in CFA only. The animals were bled every four week intervals. The animals were boosted 3 times every four weeks. Experiments were terminated four months after initial immunization. Nine of 10 guinea pigs immunized with LM1 exhibited antibody responses to LM1. Anti-LM1 IgG titers in nine guinea pigs ranged from 1:400 to 1:12,800 at 16-weeks after initial immunization. Anti-LM1 antibodies were predominantly of IgG2 subclass. One guinea pig with the highest levels of IgG antibodies exhibited mild signs of neuropathy. There was no evidence of demyelination or inflammation in the sciatic nerves of LM1-immunized guinea pigs. Anti-LM1 antibodies bound to rat sciatic nerve myelin and to isolated rat Schwann cells. In summary, our findings suggest that relatively high levels of anti-LM1 IgG antibodies can be induced in guinea pigs and that LM1 is localized in peripheral nerve myelin and in Schwann cells. Further studies are needed to determine the pathogenic potential of anti-neolactoganglioside antibodies in neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 15 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • LM1 ganglioside antibodies
  • Myelin
  • Neuropathy
  • Schwann cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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