Leukocyte and complement activation by GM1-specific antibodies is associated with acute motor axonal neuropathy in rabbits

J Neuroimmunol. 2007 Jan;182(1-2):116-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2006.10.005. Epub 2006 Dec 11.


Acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) in humans is associated with the presence of GM1-specific antibodies. Immunization of rabbits with GM1-containing ganglioside mixtures, purified GM1, or Campylobacter jejuni lipo-oligosaccharide exhibiting a GM1-like structure elicits GM1-specific antibodies, but axonal polyneuropathy only occurs in a subset of animals. This study aimed to dissect the molecular basis for the variable induction of AMAN in rabbits. Therefore, we analyzed the pro-inflammatory characteristics of GM1-specific antibodies in plasma samples from ganglioside-immunized rabbits with and without neurological deficits. GM1-specific plasma samples from all rabbits with AMAN were capable of activating both complement and leukocytes, in contrast to none of the plasma samples from rabbits without paralysis. Furthermore, GM1-specific IgG-mediated activation of leukocytes was detected before the onset of clinical signs. These data suggest that AMAN only occurs in rabbits that develop GM1-specific antibodies with pro-inflammatory properties.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Axons
  • Cell Degranulation
  • Complement Activation / immunology*
  • G(M1) Ganglioside / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Leukocytes / immunology*
  • Leukocytes / physiology
  • Motor Neuron Disease / immunology*
  • Muscle Hypotonia / immunology
  • Paralysis / immunology
  • Rabbits
  • Receptors, IgG / immunology


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, IgG
  • G(M1) Ganglioside