T cell response in acute motor axonal neuropathy

M. T. Cencioni, F. Notturno, C. M. Caporale, B. Creati, V. Prencipe, L. Battistini, Antonino Uncini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is evidence that in the acute axonal motor neuropathy (AMAN) subtype of Guillain-Barré syndrome antibodies to gangliosides, produced through molecular mimicry by antecedent Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) infection, attack gangliosides expressed in human peripheral nerve axolemma, inducing a primary axonal damage. The aim of this study is to investigate whether the T cell response has a role in AMAN pathogenesis. We isolated monocytes from 4 healthy subjects and 5 AMAN patients with antecedent C. jejuni infection and antibodies to GM1 and/or GD1a gangliosides. Immature dendritic cells expressing CD1 molecules cultured with autologous T cells were stimulated with 2 lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) extracted from C. jejuni strains containing GM1 and GD1a-like structures and with GM1 and GD1a. The T cell response to LPSs and to gangliosides was determined by measuring the release of IFN-γ and TNF-α. We observed a T cell response to both LPSs in controls and AMAN patients, whereas only AMAN patients showed T cell reactivity to gangliosides GM1 and GD1a with a tight correlation between T cell reactivity to the ganglioside and individual antibody responses to the same ganglioside. T cells responding to gangliosides were CD1c-restricted CD8 positive and CD27 negative. These findings indicate a contribution of cellular immunity in the pathogenesis of AMAN. A possible role for ganglioside-reactive T cells might be to facilitate the production of antibodies against gangliosides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1050
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Acute motor axonal neuropathy
  • Anti-ganglioside antibodies
  • CD1
  • T cell response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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