Heterogeneity of antibody specificity in Taiwanese patients with polyneuropathy and IgM paraproteinemia

K. P. Lin, C. P. Tsai, M. Yamawaki, T. Ariga, Robert K Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


About half of the Caucasian patients with chronic polyneuropathy and IgM paraproteinemia show serum anti-myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) and anti-sulfoglucuronosyl glycosphingolipid (SGGLs) activities. These antibody activities have been demonstrated to react with a carbohydrate epitope known as the HNK-1 or sulfoglucuronic acid (SGA) epitope. However, in Asian populations the occurrence of serum anti-SGA activities has been reported to be relatively rare. We investigated 5 cases of chronic polyneuropathy with IgM paraproteinemia from Taiwan and found that 3 of them had high-titer serum anti-SGA (SGGL/MAG) antibody activities. The clinical symptoms of these 3 patients were consistent with sensory dominant polyneuropathy with a severer involvement of the lower limbs than of the upper limbs. Electromyography and nerve conduction studies revealed severe sensory nerve involvement (no response in 3 cases) and moderate slowing of motor conduction velocity (MCV) without conduction block. The decrease in MCV correlated well with anti-SGA antibody titer (less than 30 m/s with the titration of 1:12,800, normal 55- 60 m/s). Pathological findings showed active demyelinating polyneuropathy with myelin ovoid and myelinated fiber loss. Our data suggest that anti-SGGL antibody activities may not be very rare among Asian populations. Additionally, there seems an intriguing possibility that the liter of this antibody correlates with the severity of peripheral nerve involvement in patients of demyelinating polyneuropathy with IgM paraproteinemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-445
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomedical Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoantibodies
  • Gammopathy
  • Myelin-associated glycoprotein
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Sulfoglucuronosyl glycolipids
  • Sulfoglucuronosyl lactosaminyl paragloboside
  • Sulfoglucuronosyl paragloboside

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Heterogeneity of antibody specificity in Taiwanese patients with polyneuropathy and IgM paraproteinemia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this