The neuropathy of plasma cell dyscrasia: Binding of IgM-M proteins to peripheral nerve glycolipids
In some patients with neuropathy and plasma cell dyscrasia, the M-proteins bind to peripheral nerves. Binding of M-proteins to peripheral nerve glycolipids was examined by immunostaining after thin-layer chromatography. The IgM from 16 patients with anti-MAG M-proteins bound to the same two glycolipid bands in peripheral nerve. The IgM that bound to the glycolipids had the same idiotype as the anti-MAG M-protein, indicating that it was the M-protein that bound to both glycolipids. The reactive glycolipids did not contain sialic acid and were not gangliosides. No immunostaining of peripheral nerve glycolipids was observed with IgM from patients with neuropathy and IgM M-proteins that did not bind to MAG, and the anti-MAG antibodies did not bind to brain glycolipids. Anti-MAG M-proteins probably bind to the same or closely related carbohydrate determinants that are shared by a number of glycoproteins and glycolipids of peripheral nerve.