Experimental sensory neuropathy induced by sensitization with ganglioside GD1b

Ann Neurol. 1996 Apr;39(4):424-31. doi: 10.1002/ana.410390404.


Three of six rabbits immunized with purified GD1b developed ataxic sensory neuropathy. They laid on the floor with their limbs splayed out, and their movements were awkward; but muscle power, tonus, and superficial sensation appeared to be intact. Sciatic nerve motor conduction studies were normal. Axonal degeneration was present in the dorsal column of the spinal cord, in the dorsal roots, and in the sciatic nerve. Some of the nerve cell bodies in the dorsal root ganglia had degenerated and disappeared. No demyelinative lesions or mononuclear cell infiltrations were seen in those regions. No pathological changes were present in the other three immunized rabbits that showed no clinical symptoms. Control rabbits inoculated only with adjuvants showed neither clinical symptoms nor pathological changes. Anti-GD1b antibody was raised in the sera from all six rabbits immunized with GD1b. The monoclonal anti-GD1b antibody GGR12 immunostained about one-half the rabbit primary sensory neurons. Sensitization with GD1b, therefore, may cause ataxic sensory neuropathy in rabbits due to antibody-mediated damage to the primary sensory neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ganglia, Spinal / pathology
  • Gangliosides / immunology*
  • Immunization*
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Neural Conduction
  • Neurons, Afferent / immunology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / immunology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / pathology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Rabbits
  • Sciatic Nerve / pathology
  • Sciatic Nerve / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord / pathology


  • Gangliosides
  • ganglioside, GD1b