Subcellular localization of sulfated glucuronic acid-containing glycolipids reacting with anti-myelin-associated glycoprotein antibody
Peripheral nerve glycolipids, with which anti-myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) antibodies from patients with demyelinating neuropathy and plasma cell dyscrasia cross-react, proved to be novel glycosphingolipids containing a sulfated glucuronyl residue. Consequently, there has been much interest in the immunological role that these sulfated glucuronyl-glycosphingolipids (SGGLs) may play in the pathogenesis of this disorder. For the determination of the distribution of these glycolipids in various nervous tissues and, thereby, the elucidation of their pathogenicity, a quantitative immunostaining-TLC method for their detection has been devised. Using this method, we demonstrated that these glycolipids were distributed in greatly different amounts in the peripheral nerves from human, bovine, chicken, rat, and rabbit. Subcellular localization studies of bovine peripheral nerve also demonstrated that they were enriched in the axolemma-enriched fraction and present in glial-related membranes in lower concentrations. In addition, these glycolipids were present in bovine dura mater and transformed rat Schwann cells. These biochemical results suggest that not only myelin but also axons could be involved as targets of the anti-MAG antibody in macroglobulinemia neuropathy, and it may also be necessary to examine anti-SGGL activity in patients with axonal neuropathy associated with plasma cell dyscrasia.