Introduction: Anti-ganglioside antibodies (AGA) have been associated with several peripheral neuropathies, such as Miller-Fisher syndrome, Guillain-Barré syndrome and multifocal motor neuropathy. They have also been studied in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), focusing on neuropsychiatric manifestations and peripheral neuropathy, but the results are contradictory.
Objective: To study the presence of AGA in a large cohort of patients with SLE and neuropsychiatric manifestations.
Patients and methods: Serum from 65 consecutive patients with SLE and neuropsychiatric manifestations, collected from 1985 to 2009, was tested for the presence of AGA antibodies (GM1, GM2, GM3, asialo-GM1 GD1a, GD1b, GD3, GT1b, GQ1b) using a standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ELISA test (INCAT 1999) and thin layer chromatography (TLC).
Results: Positive results for asialo-GM1 (IgM) were found in 10 patients, 6 were positive for asialo-GM1 (IgM and IgG), and 4 were positive for other AGA such as GM1, GM2, GM3, GD1b, GT1b, GD3, (mainly IgM).
Conclusions: Clinical and statistical studies showed no correlation between AGA and neuropsychiatric manifestations of SLE. Although some patients showed reactivity to AGA, these antibodies are not a useful marker of neuropsychiatric manifestations in SLE patients.