Ganglioside Mimicry as a Cause of Guillain-Barre Syndrome
Abstract:Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), characterized by acute progressive limb weakness and areflexia, is the prototype of postinfectious autoimmune diseases. Campylobacter jejuni is the most frequently identified agent of infection in GBS patients, often preceding acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN), a variant of GBS. Anti-GM1, anti-GM1b, anti- GD1a, and anti-GalNAc-GD1a IgG antibodies are associated with AMAN. Carbohydrate mimicry [Galβ1-3GalNAcβ1- 4(NeuAcα 2-3)Galβ1-] was seen between the lipo-oligosaccharide of C. jejuni isolated from an AMAN patient and human GM1 ganglioside. Sensitization with the lipo-oligosaccharide of C. jejuni induces AMAN in rabbits as does sensitization with GM1 ganglioside. Paralyzed rabbits have pathological changes in their peripheral nerves identical to changes seen in human GBS. C. jejuni infection may induce anti-ganglioside antibodies by molecular mimicry, eliciting AMAN. This is the first verification of the causative mechanism of molecular mimicry in an autoimmue disease. To express ganglioside mimics, C. jejuni requires specific gene combinations that function in sialic acid biosynthesis or transfer. The knockout mutants of these landmark genes of GBS show reduced reactivity with GBS patients' sera, and fail to induce an antiganglioside antibody response in mice. These genes are crucial for the induction of neuropathogenic cross-reactive antibodies. An approach for evaluating intravenous immune globulin, a treatment for GBS, based on our animal model of AMAN is also discussed in this review, and recent advances made in this field are described.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Neurology and Research Institute for Neuroimmunological Diseases, Dokkyo Medical University School of Medicine, Kitakobayashi 880, Mibu, Shimotsuga, Tochigi 321-0293, Japan.
Publication date: August 1, 2006
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