To clarify the pathogenesis of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) after parenteral injections of bovine brain gangliosides, we searched for new molecules in bovine brain gangliosides recognized by sera from GBS patients. Gangliosides fractionated in a Q-Sepharose column were used as the antigens, and the binding of serum IgG or IgM was examined by thin-layer chromatography/immunostaining. Fourteen of 175 serum samples from the patients reacted with the monosialoganglioside fraction 2. In the neutral solvent system, a band in this fraction migrated with N-acetylneuraminic acid-containing GM1 [GM1(NeuAc)], whereas in the alkaline solvent system it migrated slower. This suggested that the band was N-glycolylneuraminic acid-containing GM1 [GM1(NeuGc)]. In both solvent systems, its mobility was almost the same as that of authentic GM1(NeuGc) from mouse liver. Secondary ion mass spectrometry showed that the ganglioside's structure was consistent with that of GM1(NeuGc). IgG anti-GM1(NeuGc) antibodies in sera from the GBS patients were significantly absorbed by GM1(NeuAc), indicative that the anti-GM1(NeuGc) antibodies cross-react with GM1(NeuAc). N-Glycolylneuraminic acid-containing gangliosides are so highly immunogenic in humans that the injection of GM1(NeuGc) could induce the production of IgG anti-GM1(NeuGc) antibody, which cross-reacts with GM1(NeuAc).