Induction of anti-GM1 ganglioside antibodies by Campylobacter jejuni lipopolysaccharides

Itzhak Wirguin, Chiara Briani, Ljubica Suturkova-Milosevic, Tom Fisher, Phyllis Della-Latta, Peter Chalif, Norman Latov

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51 Scopus citations


A frequent association exists between acute motor neuropathy, antecedent Campylobacter jejuni (CJ) and anti-GM1 ganglioside antibodies. Despite the chemical and immunological similarity between CJ lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and GM1, the mechanism of induction of anti-GM1 antibodies is still unclear. We used CJ LPS to immunize rats, mice and immunodeficient mice lacking in NK, CD8 + or T-cell populations. None of these animals developed significant anti-GM1 titers. However, rats immunized with keyhole limpet hemocyanin which contains the cross-reactive sugar epitope Gal(β1-3)GalNAc developed high titers of IgM anti-GM1 antibodies. This occurred only after these rats were given an intraperitoneal injection of CJ LPS. These results suggest that a glycoprotein antigenic stimulus can induce B-cells which are autoreactive to ganglioside but which remain anergic. A second stimulus with a cross-reactive LPS can then overcome the anergy to induce autoantibody production. A similar mechanism may explain the occurrence of GM1 antibodies in patients after CJ enteritis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-142
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • GM1 ganglioside antibodies
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Lipopolysaccharides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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