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The distribution of ganglioside-like moieties in peripheral nerves.

K A Sheikh, T J Deerinck, M H Ellisman, J W Griffin

Brain, 1999 Mar , 122 ( Pt 3), 449-60

GM1 ganglioside has been implicated as a target of immune attack in some diseases of the peripheral nervous system. Anti-GM1 ganglioside antibodies are associated with certain acquired immune-mediated neuropathies. It is not clear how anti-GM1 antibodies cause nerve dysfunction and injury; however, sodium and/or potassium ion channel dysfunction at the node of Ranvier has been implicated. To gain insight into the pathogenesis of these neuropathies, we examined the distribution of GM1 ganglioside and Gal(beta1-3)GalNAc moieties in nerve fibres and their relationship to voltage-gated sodium and potassium (Kv1.1, 1.5) channels at the nodes of Ranvier in peripheral nerves from human, rat and dystrophic mice. Gal(beta1-3)GalNAc moieties were localized via the binding of cholera toxin and peanut agglutinin. As a control for the specificity of these findings, we compared the distribution of GM1 moieties to that of the ganglioside GT1b. Our study provides definitive evidence for the presence of Gal(beta1-3)GalNAc bearing moieties on the axolemmal surface of mature myelinated fibres and on Schwann cells. Gal(beta1-3)GalNAc binding sites did not have an obligatory co-localization with voltage-gated sodium channels or the potassium ion channels Kv1.1 and Kv1.5 and are thus not likely carried by these ion channels. In contrast with Gal(beta1-3)GalNAc, GT1b-like moieties are restricted to the axolemma.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10094254