To clarify the pathogenesis of anti-myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) antibody neuropathy associated with IgM monoclonal gammopathy (anti-MAG neuropathy), sural nerve biopsy specimens from 15 patients were investigated. Sodium channels, potassium channels, contactin-associated protein 1 (Caspr1), contactin 1, and neurofascin were evaluated by immunofluorescence in teased-fiber preparations. Immunoreactivity to the pan-sodium channel in both anti-MAG neuropathy patients and in normal controls was concentrated at the node of Ranvier unless there was demyelination, which was defined as the widening of the node of Ranvier. However, this immunoreactivity became weak or disappeared as demyelination progressed. In contrast, KCNQ2 immunostaining was nearly absent even in the absence of demyelination. The lengths of Caspr1, contactin 1, and pan-neurofascin immunostaining sites at the paranode were significantly increased compared with those of normal controls despite the absence of demyelination. The length of paranodal neurofascin staining correlated with the anti-MAG antibody titer, nerve conduction indices, the frequency of de/remyelination in teased-fiber preparations, and the frequency of widely spaced myelin (p < 0.05, p < 0.05, p < 0.01, and <0.05, respectively). These findings suggest that nodal and paranodal molecular alterations occur in early stages preceding the morphological changes associated with demyelination in anti-MAG neuropathy.
Keywords: Anti-MAG antibody; IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance; Immunofluorescence of teased-fiber preparation; Neuropathy; Paranodal junction.
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