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Metabolism. 2003 Jan;52(1):25-9.

Glutamic acid decarboxylase and ICA512/IA-2 autoantibodies as disease markers and relationship to residual beta-cell function and glycemic control in young type 1 diabetic patients.

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Division of Internal Medicine, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.


Circulating autoantibodies (Ab) to islet autoantigens, glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD(65)), and tyrosine phosphatase ICA512/IA-2 have been proposed as predictive markers of type 1 diabetes mellitus. To ascertain residual beta-cell function and the clinical relevance for monitoring autoimmunity after clinical manifestation of disease, we studied 63 children at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes (mean SD age 7.5 +/- 4 years) and 91 adolescent patients with type 1 diabetes (age 14.7 +/- 1.6 years) with a mean duration of disease of 7 +/- 3.5) years. Forty-two normal adolescent subjects (age 14.6 +/- 1.8 years) without a family history of diabetes were the control group. Anti-GAD(65) and ICA512/IA-2 Ab were assessed by a quantitative radioimmunoprecipitation assay. The relationship between humoral autoimmunity and clinical parameters was explored. GAD(65) and ICA512/IA-2 Ab were detected in 56% and 63% of newly diagnosed children and the prevalence was not different in relationship to clinical characteristics. Levels of GAD(65) Ab positively correlated with diagnosis age (P <.05). Both Ab were associated with islet cell antibodies (ICA) (P <.05), but one fifth of patients had at least 1 of the 2 Ab and absent ICA. At onset, only age showed a significant relationship to residual C-peptide secretion. Among the cohort of patients with diabetes of short-mid duration, GAD(65) and ICA512/IA-2 Ab were present in 44% and 45% of cases (P >.05 and P <.05 v newly diagnosed children, respectively) and more patients were identified by these Ab (68%) than by ICA alone (34%) (P <.05). In this cohort, levels of ICA512/IA-2 Ab negatively correlated with levels of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) (P <.005) and with daily insulin requirement (P <.05). Moreover, the presence of some residual C-peptide secretion was significantly associated with the presence of ICA512/IA-2 Ab (P <.05). Our findings confirm that positivity for either GAD(65) or ICA512/IA-2 Ab is a highly sensitive marker of type 1 diabetes in the pediatric age group, identifying a group of patients with absent ICA immunofluorescence. The persistence of Ab to islet tyrosine phosphatase possibly represents a marker of better glycemic control and less insulin requirement, indicating residual beta-cell function, thus conferring clinical and prognostic relevance to these Ab, as well as potential usefulness in intervention strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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