Localization of GM1 and Gal(β1-3)GalNAc antigenic determinants in peripheral nerve
Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate
Anti-GM1 antibodies in patients with motor neuropathy or motor neuron disease frequently recognize the Gal(beta 1-3)GalNAc epitope, which is shared by several glycoproteins in peripheral nerve. In this study, cholera toxin (CT), which is specific for GM1, and the lectin peanut agglutinin (PNA), which binds to Gal(beta 1-3)GalNAc-bearing glycoproteins, were used in tissue section and intraneural injection studies to examine the distribution of GM1 and Gal(beta 1-3)GalNAc epitopes in human and rat peripheral nerve by epifluorescence and confocal microscopy. In tissue sections, CT stained the compact myelin in both human and rat nerves, whereas PNA was localized at the outer edge of the myelin sheath or Schwann cell membrane. Following intraneural injection into rat sciatic nerves, both CT and PNA bound to the nodes of Ranvier, although CT was concentrated in the paranodal myelin region whereas PNA was concentrated at the nodal gap. These structures may be targets for anti-GM1 antibodies in peripheral nerve.