IgM antibody-related polyneuropathies: B-cell depletion chemotherapy using Rituximab

Neurology. 1999 May 12;52(8):1701-4. doi: 10.1212/wnl.52.8.1701.


Current treatments for anti-GM1 ganglioside or antimyelin-associated glycoprotein (anti-MAG) antibody-associated polyneuropathies are toxic or very costly. In this preliminary study the authors treated five patients with neuropathy and immunoglobulin M antibodies to GM1 ganglioside or MAG by depleting B cells using Rituximab--a monoclonal antibody directed against the B-cell surface membrane marker CD20. Within 3 to 6 months after treatment, all five patients had improved function, significantly increased quantitative strength measurements, and reduced titers of serum autoantibodies.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / immunology
  • Rituximab


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Rituximab