[Antiganglioside autoantibody profiles in Guillain-Barré syndrome]

Ann Biol Clin (Paris). 2002 Sep-Oct;60(5):589-97.
[Article in French]


We established anti-ganglioside antibody profiles in GBS and studied the frequency, fine specificity and clinical correlate. IgG and IgM antibodies to 8 gangliosides were tested by immunodot-blot in 249 consecutive patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome with large variability in clinical expression, referred to our laboratory over a 8-year period. IgG and IgM anti-GM1 antibodies were measured by Elisa. Thin-layer chromatography overlayed by serum was used to control positivity. 89/249 GBS (36%) had characteristic anti-ganglioside antibody profile. Isotypes were, IgG (62%), IgG + IgM (26%) and IgM (12%). Antecedent infections were found in 62% of GBS included more frequently Campylobacter jejuni and cytomegalovirus. Various autoantibody profiles were described with an immunodominant ganglioside. We detected 6 characteristic anti-ganglioside profiles with fine specificity and immunodominant ganglioside corresponding to 6 immuno-clinical variants of GBS: 1) anti-GM1 and GD1b IgG and IgG > IgM in the acute motor axonal neuropathy after Campylobacter jejuni infection in 41 GBS; 2) anti-GD1a IgG in 6 severe motor axonal GBS after Campylobacter jejuni infection; 3) selectively anti-GQ1b IgG in 17 typical Miller Fisher syndrome with areflexia, ataxia and ophthalmoplegia; 4) anti- GT1b ganglioside and polysialogangliosides IgG (n = 9) in two separate cranial nerve variants, ophthalmoplegic SGB and lower cranial nerve variants depending upon the presenting deficit; 5) anti-GD1b IgG in 5 pure ataxic sensory GBS (4%); 6) anti-GM2 IgM in 11 severe GBS with antecedent CMV infection (8%). 34 GBS (14%) had low levels of anti-GM1 and GD1b IgM antibodies which are not disease specific and may simply represent part of the naturally occurring autoantibody population or a secondary response to disease. 126 GBS (50%) had no antibodies, predominantly in classical form. Associations between isotype, fine specificity and clinical presentation permit the definition of homogeneous immuno-clinical variants. Various autoantibody profiles with diagnostic and prognostic value are easy to perform by immunodot blot in acute peripheral neuropathies.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer / methods
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Female
  • G(M1) Ganglioside / analogs & derivatives*
  • G(M1) Ganglioside / chemistry
  • G(M1) Ganglioside / immunology
  • Gangliosides / chemistry
  • Gangliosides / immunology*
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / blood
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / classification
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting / methods
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Autoantibodies
  • Gangliosides
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • ganglioside GD1alpha
  • ganglioside, GD1b
  • G(M1) Ganglioside
  • trisialoganglioside GT1
  • GQ1b ganglioside