Antibodies against peripheral myelin glycolipids in people with HIV infection

Steven Petratos, Victor J. Turnbull, Roula Papadopoulos, Margaret Ayers, Michael F. Gonzales

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Plasma samples from 35 individuals with HIV infection but without clinical peripheral neuropathy were screened by ELISA for IgM and IgG antibodies against peripheral myelin. Eighteen of the 35 samples (51%) showed IgM reactivity and 11 (31%) showed IgG reactivity. By comparison, none of 48 samples from healthy blood donors showed IgM or IgG reactivity. Epitopes reacting with these antibodies were identified by TLC immunostaining as sulphatide (GalS) and the gangliosides GM1, GD(1a) and GD(1b). Plasma samples from four people with HIV infection and neuropathy (HIV+PN), six HIV-seronegative individuals with IgM paraproteinaemic demyelinating neuropathy (IgMPDN) and 12 HIV-seronegative individuals with a variety of other neurological disorders (HIV-OND) were also investigated. Two of the four HIV+PN samples showed IgM reactivity with GalS; and two showed IgG reactivity against GalS. Of the six IgMPDN samples, three showed IgM reactivity with GalS. These data indicate that antibodies against peripheral myelin glycolipids, in particular GalS, occur more frequently in HIV infection' than in HIV-seronegative individuals with and without neurological disease, and may contribute to subclinical neuropathy in HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-541
Number of pages7
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibodies
  • Demyelination
  • Galactocerebroside
  • Gangliosides
  • HIV-associated peripheral neuropathy
  • Sulphatide

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