Antibodies to the neutral glycolipid asialo ganglio-N-tetraosylceramide: Association with gynecologic cancers Academic Article Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Obesity


  • As part of our efforts to define subpopulations at increased risk for gynecologic malignancies, sera from 145 women were obtained prior to diagnosis and analyzed for antibody to asialo ganglio-N-tetraosylceramide. This neutral glycolipid is present on the surface of thymocytes and natural killer cells, and asialo ganglio-N-tetraosylceramide antibody has been shown in animals to block natural killer cell activity and promote tumor cell proliferation. With the use of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and with a value of 2 SD above the mean for healthy women designated as the boundary for a positive response, antibody to asialo ganglio-N-tetraosylceramide was detected in only one of 30 (3%) healthy women, none of 16 pregnant women, none of 18 women with benign masses, and two of 24 (8%) women with microbial infections. All of the above samples that contained antibodies were barely over the 2 SD limit. In marked contrast, 19 of 35 (54%) women with gynecologic malignancies had asialo ganglio-N-tetraosylceramide antibodies, with positive values ranging to greater than 10 SD above the control mean. Asialo ganglio-N-tetraosylceramide antibody was found in six of eight (75%) patients with cervical cancer, five of eight (63%) with endometrial cancer, and seven of 15 (47%) with ovarian cancer. Of the eight patients with Stage I gynecologic cancer at any site, five (62%) had asialo ganglio-N-tetraosylceramide antibodies. Four of 22 (18%) women with Hodgkin's disease also had antibodies, with values just exceeding 2 SD above control levels. The presence of these antibodies may contribute to an impaired immune surveillance system in these women and so increase their susceptibility to malignancy.

publication date

  • March 1985



  • Academic Article


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0002-9378(85)90164-4

PubMed ID

  • 3976767

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 679

end page

  • 81


  • 151


  • 5