Dissecting the Role of Anti-ganglioside Antibodies in Guillain-Barré Syndrome: an Animal Model Approach

Pallavi Asthana, Joaquim Si Long Vong, Gajendra Kumar, Raymond Chuen Chung Chang, Gang Zhang, Kazim A. Sheikh, Chi Him Eddie Ma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an autoimmune polyneuropathy disease affecting the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Most of the GBS patients experienced neurological symptoms such as paresthesia, weakness, pain, and areflexia. There are also combinations of non-neurological symptoms which include upper respiratory tract infection and diarrhea. One of the major causes of GBS is due largely to the autoantibodies against gangliosides located on the peripheral nerves. Gangliosides are sialic acid-bearing glycosphingolipids consisting of a ceramide lipid anchor with one or more sialic acids attached to a neutral sugar backbone. Molecular mimicry between the outer components of oligosaccharide of gangliosides on nerve membrane and lipo-oligosaccharide of microbes is thought to trigger the autoimmunity. Intra-peritoneal implantation of monoclonal ganglioside antibodies secreting hybridoma into animals induced peripheral neuropathy. Recent studies demonstrated that injection of synthesized anti-ganglioside antibodies raised by hybridoma cells into mice initiates immune response against peripheral nerves, and eventually failure in peripheral nerve regeneration. Accumulating evidences indicate that the conjugation of anti-ganglioside monoclonal antibodies to activating FcγRIII present on the circulating macrophages inhibits axonal regeneration. The activation of RhoA signaling pathways is also involved in neurite outgrowth inhibition. However, the link between these two molecular events remains unresolved and requires further investigation. Development of anti-ganglioside antagonists can serve as targeted therapy for the treatment of GBS and will open a new approach of drug development with maximum efficacy and specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4981-4991
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anti-ganglioside complex
  • Fc receptor
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Monoclonal antibody
  • Peripheral nervous system


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