Peripheral nervous system involvement in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) can take the form of an acute or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, polyradiculopathy, mononeuropathy multiplex, or autonomic neuropathy. There is no widely held consensus on the etiology of PNS or other neurological complications associated with HIV infection. We report here that PNS disease in HIV-infected individuals is associated with intrathecal synthesis of an antibody directed against sulfatide, a major component of myelin. The anti-sulfatide antibody is also present nonspecifically in serum. The antibody requires the presence of the 3-O- sulfogalactosyl residue for binding and recognizes preferentially the hydroxy fatty acid-containing form of sulfatide. Anti-sulfatide antibodies are therefore one of the humoral factors responsible for demyelinating diseases in AIDS patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases