Sulfoglucuronosyl glycolipids as putative antigens for autoimmune inner ear disease

M. Yamawaki, T. Ariga, Y. Gao, A. Tokuda, J. S. Yu, A. Sismanis, R. K. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Autoimmune inner ear disease is diagnosed based on clinical history of fluctuating but progressive sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) with or without vestibular symptoms occurring over weeks to months. An initial response to steroids or immunosuppressive drugs usually reverses the hearing loss. In search of specific diagnostic and therapeutic markers for autoimmune inner ear diseases, we investigated serum anti-glycolipid antibody activities in these patients by two different methods, HPTLC-immunoblotting and ELISA. We found that 37 out of 74 patients of clinically diagnosed autoimmune inner ear disease (30 of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) (group I), 14 of vestibular symptoms only (group II), 30 of Menieres symptoms (with both hearing loss and vestibular symptoms) (group III)) showed positive anti-sulfoglucuronosyl lactosaminyl paragloboside (SGLPG) antibody titers (p <0.001). On the other hand, anti-sulfoglucuronosyl paragloboside (SGPG) titers were not elevated in these conditions. In contrast, only 3 out of 56 pathological control and 2 out of 28 healthy volunteers had measurable anti-SGLPG antibody titers. We further analyzed the localization of SGLPG in the auditory pathway and found that the antigens existed exclusively in inner ear and the eighth nerve, but not in pons, cerebellum, nor cerebrum. We conclude that the anti-SGLPG antibody represents a novel diagnostic marker for autoimmune inner ear disease and may participate in the pathogenesis of this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-SGLPG antibodies
  • Autoimmune inner ear disease
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Sulfoglucuronosyl glycolipids (SGGLs)
  • Sulfoglucuronosyl lactosaminyl paragloboside (SGLPG)
  • Sulfoglucuronosyl paragloboside (SGPG)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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