Anti-GM1/GD1b M-proteins damage human spinal cord neurons co-cultured with muscle

Terry Heiman-Patterson, Thomas Krupa, Preston Thompson, Eduardo Nobile-Orazio, Albert J. Tahmoush, Michael E. Shy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


IgM M-proteins in some motor neuron disease (MND) patients bind immunologically to shared determinants on gangliosides GM1 and GD1b. Since patients with these M-proteins have improved with immunotherapy the antibodies may be important in the pathogenesis of MND. To study how the M-proteins might damage motor neurons, we established co-cultures of human neurons from spinal cord explants and human myotubes. Antibodies from patient but not control serum bound to the cultured neurons. Neurons in co-cultures degenerated after incubation with patient but not control serum. These results demonstrate that anti-GM1 antibodies can bind to and destroy spinal cord neurons that are cultured with muscle. Nerve-muscle co-cultures can serve as a system to examine effects of anti-GM1/GD1b M-proteins on motor neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1993


  • Anti-GM M-proteins
  • Motor neurons
  • Tissue culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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