Immune responses to myelin antigens in Guillain-Barré syndrome

J Neuroimmunol. 1984 Aug;6(5):303-12. doi: 10.1016/0165-5728(84)90019-5.


Antibodies to nerve antigens were sought in the sera of 17 patients with acute Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), 11 with chronic relapsing demyelinating poly-radiculoneuropathy (CRP), 20 with other neuropathies (ON), 15 with other neurological diseases (OND) and 19 normal subjects. Complement-fixing antibodies to a suspension of human peripheral nerve tissue were identified in only 2 patients with GBS and 1 with chronic progressive neuropathy. Five GBS sera gave complement fixation reactions with rabbit sciatic nerve. The sera were also tested for galactocerebroside (Gal-C) binding activity using a solid phase assay. The range of values in all groups was the same, although the mean values for patients with GBS, ON and OND were higher than those of normal subjects. In a radioimmunoassay for antibodies to bovine P2 slightly more radiolabelled antigen was precipitated by the GBS group of sera than by sera from the other groups, but only one serum from the GBS and another from the CRP patients precipitated more than 10% of the label. Addition of bovine P2 to cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 11 patients with GBS did not cause significant stimulation. Immunoassay for antibody to myelin basic protein (MBP) showed an increased proportion of sera with low binding activity in the GBS and CRP groups. The results suggest that humoral immune responses to potentially neuritogenic antigens are found with marginally increased frequency in patients with GBS and CRP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibody Formation
  • Antigens / analysis*
  • Complement Fixation Tests
  • Female
  • Galactosylceramides / blood
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelin Proteins / immunology*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / immunology*


  • Antigens
  • Galactosylceramides
  • Myelin Proteins
  • galactocerebroside