Detection of Antibodies to Gangliosides in Pathologic Human Sera. Serum-Sickness Type Heterophile Antibodies

  • Masaharu Naiki
  • Hideyoshi Higashi
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 125)


The production of heterophile antibodies in sera of patients receiving therapeutic injections of foreign serum was first described by HANGANUTIZIU (1924) and DEICHER (1926). Thereafter, these antibodies were called serum-sickness or H-D antibodies. The antibodies differ in specificity from other kinds of heterophile antibodies, such as FORSSMAN (1911) antibodies and PAUL-BUNNELL (1932) antibodies (P-B antibodies) of infectious mononucleosis. H-D antibodies react with erythrocytes and sera of various animal species (horse, sheep, ox and rabbit) and are absorbed by sediment of guinea-pig kidney homogenate (DAVIDSON and WALKER, 1935). Recently, “H-D antibodies” were detected in sera from almost of all patients who received γ-globulin fraction of goat anti-human thymocyte serum (PIROFSKY, RAMIREZ-MATEOS and AUGUST (1973) and also in sera from some patients, suffering from various diseases, who had never received a therapeutic injection of foreign serum (KASUKAWA et al., 1976). The nature of H-D antigen was unknown, except for some properties: heat-stable, extractable with hot ethanol (SCHIFF, 1937) and precipitable by 75% ethanol solution (KASUKAWA et al., 1976). Our previous studies (HIGASHI et al., 1977) succeeded in the isolation of H-D antigen from bovine and equine erythrocytes and demonstrated that this antigen is a ganglioside with N-glycolylneuraminic acid (GcNeu). The antigen of equine erythrocytes was identified as GcNeu-hematoside (YAMAKAWA and SUZUKI, 1951), and the antigen of bovine erythrocytes was identified as GcNeu-sialosylparagloboside (WIEGANDT and SCHULZE, 1969). The structures of both the gangliosides are shown in Table 1.


Sialic Acid Infectious Mononucleosis Complement Fixation Bovine Erythrocyte Therapeutic Injection 
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N-glycosylneuraminic acid


N-acetylneuraminic acid


ceramide (N-acylsphingosine)


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© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaharu Naiki
    • 1
  • Hideyoshi Higashi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineHokkaido UniversitySapporo, 060Japan

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