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J Immunol. 1984 Apr;132(4):1793-7.

Antibodies to glycosphingolipids in patients with multiple sclerosis and SLE.


We used a liposome lysis assay to measure antibodies against a panel of glycolipids. Antibodies to one or more compounds were detected in 34 of 46 patients with multiple sclerosis, 19 of 31 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and in the majority of patients with cranial trauma or cerebrovascular accidents. Antibodies against ganglioside GM1 and asialo GM1 were found most commonly, and they were frequently present in the same sera. The specificity of the antibodies was tested in four sera that contained antibodies to both glycolipids. The anti-GM1 antibodies cross-reacted with asialo GM1, but the converse was not true. Among patients whose sera contained antibodies to glycolipids, anti-asialo GM1 alone was more common in patients with SLE (7 of 17) than in multiple sclerosis (2 of 34; p = 0.004). Anti-GM1 alone was found in 9 of 34 patients with multiple sclerosis and 1 of 17 patients with SLE, a difference that was not statistically significant (0.135). No correlation was observed between the presence of anti-glycolipid antibodies and symptoms related to the nervous system in patients with SLE. Because of our inability to detect these antibodies by a solid phase immunoassay (ELISA), a comparison was made of the titers obtained with three monoclonal anti-glycolipid antibodies in the liposome lysis assay and ELISA. The ELISA was less sensitive in all instances, requiring from four to 1000 times as much antibody as the liposome lysis assay to give a positive test. We conclude that antibodies to glycolipids occur frequently in patients with multiple sclerosis, SLE, major cranial trauma, and cerebrovascular accidents. Their role in the initiation or perpetuation of inflammatory disease of the central nervous system has yet to be determined.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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