Induction of experimental ataxic sensory neuronopathy in cats by immunization with purified SGPG

J Neuroimmunol. 2008 Jan;193(1-2):87-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2007.10.025. Epub 2007 Nov 26.


IgM paraproteins in about 50% of the patients with neuropathy associated with IgM gammopathy react with carbohydrate moieties in myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) and in sulfated glucuronic glycolipids (SGGLs) in human peripheral nerves. However, the role of anti-MAG/SGGL antibodies in the pathogenesis of neuropathy remains unclear. In order to induce an animal model of neuropathy associated with anti-MAG/SGGL antibodies, cats were immunized with sulfoglucuronyl paragloboside (SGPG). All four cats immunized with SGPG developed clinical signs of sensory neuronopathy within 11 months after initial immunization, characterized by unsteadiness, falling, hind limb weakness and ataxia. In two cats the ataxia and hind limb paralysis were so severe that the animals had to be euthanized. Pathological examination revealed sensory ganglionitis with inflammatory infiltrates in the dorsal root ganglia. No overt signs of pathology were noted in the examined roots or nerves. High titer anti-SGPG/MAG antibodies were detected in all 4 cats immunized with SGPG but not in 3 control cats. Our data demonstrate that immunization of cats with SGPG induced anti-SGPG antibodies and sensory neuronopathy clinically resembling the sensory ataxia of patients with monoclonal IgM anti-MAG/SGPG antibodies. This study suggests that these anti-MAG/SGPG antibodies play a role in the pathogenesis of this neuropathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ataxia / etiology*
  • Cats
  • Female
  • Ganglia, Spinal / pathology
  • Globosides / immunology*
  • Immunization
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood*
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein / immunology*
  • Paraproteinemias / etiology*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / etiology*


  • Globosides
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein
  • sulfate-3-glucuronyl paragloboside