We previously found that serums with anti-sulfatide antibodies have several different patterns of binding to neural tissue. In this study, we asked whether serums with anti-myelin associated glycoprotein (MAG) antibodies also have similar variations in patterns of tissue binding. We examined binding to peripheral nerve in 49 serums with IgM anti-MAG antibodies and 13 serums with IgM anti-sulfoglucuronyl paragloboside (SGPG) antibodies but no MAG binding. We correlated patterns of binding with titers of IgM binding to MAG and SGPG measured by ELISA methods. Our results show that IgM in most anti-MAG serums stained areas of non-compact myelin, including the periaxonal and outer myelin membranes and Schmidt-Lanterman incisures. However, other patterns included IgM binding to areas of compact myelin and to non-myelin structures including axons and endoneurial macrophages. IgM in anti-SGPG serums bound to axons or macrophages, but rarely to myelin-related structures. A total of 11/62 (18%) of serums had IgM binding to axons, six with anti-MAG antibodies and five with anti-SGPG antibodies. The majority of these serums (73%) had SGPG titers greater than MAG titers when measured by ELISA. We conclude that anti-MAG serums have several different binding patterns to neural tissue, including axonal binding, especially when anti-MAG antibodies cross-react with SGPG. These different binding patterns may relate to the ability of anti-MAG serum IgM to bind both MAG and SGPG or to other molecules with a sulfated glucuronic acid epitope that are present in peripheral nerve.
- Myelin-associated glycoprotein
- Peripheral nerve