Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Ganglioside antibodies are identified not only in patients with inflammatory neuropathies but also several central nervous system disorders and paraneoplastic neuropathies. Our aim was to investigate whether ganglioside antibodies are found in autoimmune encephalitis patients and may function as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker. Materials and methods: Sera and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples of 33 patients fulfilling the criteria for probable autoimmune encephalitis were collected within the first week of clinical manifestation. None of the patients had evident symptoms and findings of peripheral polyneuropathy. Well-characterized antineuronal and paraneoplastic antibodies were investigated in sera and CSF and antiganglioside (antiGM1, GM2, GM3, GD1a, GD1b, GT1b, and GQ1b) IgG and IgM antibodies were measured in sera using commercial immunoblots. Results: Twenty-eight of 33 autoimmune encephalitis patients displayed antibodies against neuronal surface or onco-neural antigens with N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) and Hu antibodies being the most prevalent. While no antiganglioside IgG antibodies were found, 4 patients (2 anti-NMDAR+, 1 anti-GAD+ and 1 antibody negative) with autoimmune limbic encephalitis displayed anti-GM1, anti-GM2, anti-GM3 or anti-GQ1b IgM antibodies. There was no apparent association between antiganglioside positivity and clinical and demographic features. Conclusion: Serum ganglioside IgM antibodies may infrequently emerge during the clinical course of autoimmune limbic encephalitis without evident polyneuropathy. Absence of the IgG response suggests that these antibodies might have developed as a hyperacute immune response to neuro-axonal destruction. Nevertheless, potential impact of ganglioside antibodies on axonal degeneration and neuronal loss in limbic encephalitis pends to be further investigated.


Ganglioside, antibody, autoimmune encephalitis, paraneoplastic, autoimmunity

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