Serum antibodies to GM1 ganglioside in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

A. Pestronk, R. N. Adams, L. Clawson, D. Cornblath, R. W. Kuncl, D. Griffin, D. B. Drachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


We report the presence of serum antibodies directed against GM, ganglioside, a defined neural antigen, in many patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We examined serum from a series of patients with well-documented clinical diagnoses. Serum antibodies to GM, ganglioside were measured using ELISA assays. Our results showed that polyclonal IgM anti-GM1 antibodies were present at dilutions of 1:25 to 1:2,000 in 42 of 74 (57%) patients with ALS. The anti-GM, antibodies were especially frequent in patients with prominent lower motor neuron signs (41/59; 69%). Few normal controls (2/23) and motor-sensory neuropathy patients (3/27) had similar antibodies. Anti-GM1 antibodies did occur in patients with nonneural autoimmune disorders. However, the anti-GM1 antibodies in these patients tended to differ from those in ALS based on an analysis of their light chain types. Further examination of the role and spectrum of serum antiganglioside antibody activity in motor neuron syndromes is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1457-1461
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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