Human dorsal root ganglia (DRG), and ventral and dorsal roots were immunostained with rabbit antibodies recognizing GM1, GD1b, or both. Sera from rabbits immunized with GM1 or GD1b were separated in affinity columns into three fractions: Rab1, Rab2, and Rab3. Rab1 recognized only GM1, and Rab2 only GD1b; whereas Rab3 recognized both GM1 and GD1b, presumably by binding to the terminal galactosyl beta 1-3N-acetylgalactosaminyl residue. Rab2 and Rab3 immunostained most of the nerve cell bodies in the DRG and paranodal myelin of the ventral and dorsal roots, whereas Rab1 produced no significant immunostaining. These results show that GD1b is localized on the DRG neurons and the paranodal myelin of human peripheral nerve. These places may be the binding sites for anti-GD1b antibodies, including those cross-reactive with GM1, in the sera from patients with autoimmune neuropathies. GM1 may be dispersed in human DRG and dorsal and ventral roots.