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Pediatr Res. 2004 Feb;55(2):236-42. Epub 2003 Nov 6.

Insulin autoantibody isotypes during the prediabetic process in young children with increased genetic risk of type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Center for Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes in Finland including Pediatric Research Center, University of Tampere Medical School, Finland.

Abstract

This work aimed to assess the maturation of the humoral immune response to insulin in preclinical type 1 diabetes by observing the emergence of various isotypes of insulin autoantibodies (IAA) in children with HLA-DQB1-conferred disease susceptibility. The series was derived from the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention Study and comprised 15 IAA-positive children who presented with type 1 diabetes during prospective observation (progressors) and 30 children who remained nondiabetic (nonprogressors). An isotype-specific radiobinding assay was used to determine isotype-specific IAA (IgG1-4 and IgA) from samples obtained with an interval of 3-12 mo. The progressors had IAA of subclass IgG3 in their first IAA-positive sample more often than did the nonprogressors (13 of 15 versus 12 of 30; p = 0.003). Nine progressors had a dominant IgG1-IAA response initially, and six had a dominant IgG3-IAA response. The corresponding distribution among the nonprogressors was that 20 had a dominant IgG1-IAA response, none had an IgG3-IAA response, and three had a dominant response other than IgG1- or IgG3-IAA (chi(2)(df = 2) = 12.02; p = 0.002). The progressors had higher integrated levels (area under the curve) of IgG1-IAA (p = 0.05) and IgG3-IAA (p = 0.002). Nine progressors had a dominant integrated IgG1-IAA response and six had a dominant IgG3-IAA response over the observation period, whereas 22 nonprogressors had a dominant IgG1-IAA response, six had a dominant IgG2-IAA response, and one an IgG3-IAA response (chi(2)(df = 2) = 11.23; p = 0.004). Genetically susceptible young children who progress rapidly to clinical type 1 diabetes are characterized by strong IgG1 and IgG3 responses to insulin, whereas a weak or absent IgG3 response is associated with relative protection from disease.

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