Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Autoimmunity. 1996;23(3):165-74.

Relation between antibodies to islet cell antigens, other autoantigens and cow's milk proteins in diabetic children and unaffected siblings at the clinical manifestation of IDDM. The Childhood Diabetes in Finland Study Group.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Oulu, Finland.


The relation between islet cell specific antibodies, other autoantibodies and antibodies to cow's milk proteins was studied in IDDM and pre-IDDM by analysing islet cell antibodies (ICA), insulin autoantibodies (IAA), anti-nuclear (ANA), anti-reticulin class IgA [ARA(IgA)], smooth muscle, anti-mitochondria, parietal cell (PCA), adrenal and thyroid antibodies and antibodies to cow's milk formula (CMF), beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) and bovine serum albumin (BSA) in a population based study with more than 650 children with newly diagnosed IDDM and more than 550 initially non-diabetic siblings. After adjustment for age a weak association was seen in the diabetic children between IAA and ANA but none between ICA and autoantibodies directed against the other organ-specific or non-organ-specific antigens. There was no significant difference in cow's milk antibodies between diabetic children with and without ICA or IAA. The siblings with ICA had higher CMF (IgA and IgM) antibody levels and BLG (IgA) antibody levels than the remaining siblings, but no such differences were found when comparing IAA-positive and negative siblings. Siblings positive for ICA had PCA more often than did the ICA-negative siblings, whereas siblings positive for both ICA and PCA had increased levels of antibodies against CMF, BLG and BSA. These findings indicate that the humoral islet cell-associated autoimmunity characteristic of recent-onset childhood IDDM is clearly restricted to the islet cells and not directly related to signs of other organ-specific or non-organ-specific autoimmunity. The observation of increased levels of antibodies to cow's milk proteins in siblings positive for ICA suggests that the immune response to cow's milk proteins may be related to the progressive autoimmune process resulting in beta-cell destruction and ultimately in the clinical manifestation of IDDM. Gastrointestinal autoimmune mechanisms may play a role in the pathogenesis of IDDM, and the association observed between combined ICA and PCA positivity and increased levels of antibodies to cow's milk proteins in the siblings implies that there may be an enhanced transfer of nutritional antigens across the gut barrier in these subjects.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk