Serum factor in Miller-Fisher variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome and neurotransmitter release

Lancet. 1994 Feb 19;343(8895):454-5. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(94)92694-8.


Serum IgG autoantibodies to GQ1b ganglioside are associated with the acute phase of the Miller-Fisher syndrome (MFS). We investigated the effects of three anti-GQ1b-positive MFS sera in the mouse phrenic-nerve/diaphragm preparation. Miniature endplate potential frequencies increased eight-fold within 25 min, declined rapidly, and ceased altogether after 3 h, when nerve stimulation no longer evoked a response. One MFS convalescent serum (anti-GQ1b negative) and sera from healthy controls and from patients with other neurological diseases were without effect. Thus muscle weakness in MFS may be caused by a serum factor, likely to be GQ1b antibody, that leads to failure of acetylcholine release from motor nerve terminals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Gangliosides / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Motor Endplate / physiopathology
  • Nerve Growth Factors / immunology*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / immunology*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / physiopathology
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology


  • Autoantibodies
  • Gangliosides
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • GQ1b ganglioside