GM3 as a target of anti-lymphocytic ganglioside antibodies in AIDS patients

Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1993 Jun;67(3 Pt 1):216-23. doi: 10.1006/clin.1993.1068.


IgG antibodies reacting with the GM3-comigrating band extracted from pooled AIDS lymphocytes were detected in 33.3% of AIDS patients sera, in 8% of asymptomatic anti-HIV-positive subjects, in none of the sera obtained from asymptomatic anti-HIV-negative drug abusers, from patients with acute B and chronic C hepatitis, and from healthy donors. All positive sera reacted selectively with the GM3-comigrating band obtained from AIDS lymphocytes but not with the corresponding band from normal lymphocytes. The lymphocytic ganglioside autoantigen was revealed as GM3. In addition, two main data were shown: (a) AIDS lymphocytes have an increased concentration of GM3 and (b) the ceramide of AIDS lymphocytic GM3 has a different percentual composition of fatty acids in contrast to control cells. It is suggested that these quantitative and qualitative changes might be responsible for the appearance of circulating anti-lymphocytic GM3 antibodies.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / blood*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology*
  • Adult
  • Antilymphocyte Serum / blood*
  • Carbohydrates / analysis
  • Ceramides / analysis
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / blood
  • G(M3) Ganglioside / chemistry
  • G(M3) Ganglioside / immunology*
  • Gangliosides / blood
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / chemistry
  • Male


  • Antilymphocyte Serum
  • Carbohydrates
  • Ceramides
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • G(M3) Ganglioside
  • Gangliosides