IgM deposits at nodes of Ranvier in a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, anti-GM1 antibodies, and multifocal motor conduction block

Ann Neurol. 1990 Sep;28(3):373-7. doi: 10.1002/ana.410280312.


We studied a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multifocal motor conduction block, and IgM anti-GM1 antibodies. A sural nerve biopsy demonstrated deposits of IgM at nodes of Ranvier by direct immunofluorescence. The deposits were granular and located in the nodal gap between adjacent myelin internodes, and in some instances, they extended along the surface of the paranodal myelin sheath. When injected into rat sciatic nerve, the serum IgM bound to the nodes of Ranvier, and the binding activity was removed by preincubation with GM1. These observations suggest that anti-GM1 antibodies may have caused motor dysfunction by binding to the nodal and paranodal regions of peripheral nerve.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / immunology
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / metabolism*
  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Blood Physiological Phenomena
  • Electrodiagnosis
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • G(M1) Ganglioside / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / metabolism*
  • Motor Neurons
  • Nerve Fibers / metabolism
  • Nerve Fibers / pathology
  • Neural Conduction
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Ranvier's Nodes / metabolism*
  • Sciatic Nerve / metabolism


  • Antibodies
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • G(M1) Ganglioside