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Autoimmun Rev. 2009 Jul;8(8):687-91. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2009.02.019. Epub 2009 Feb 13.

Specificity of islet cell autoantibodies and coexistence with other organ specific autoantibodies in type 1 diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Immunology-Histocompatibility, Evangelismos General Hospital, Athens, Greece.


Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) has been shown to be a disease characterized by immune-mediated destruction of the insulin-producing islet beta-cells (beta-cells) in the pancreas. Intensive studies, in both patients and animal models are trying to elucidate the specific antigenic targets that are responsible for islet cell autoimmunity. So far, the most important molecules that have been recognized are the native insulin, the 65-kDa form of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD(65)) and the insulinoma-antigen 2 (IA-2). Identification of those specific autoantibodies that are involved in the primary immunological events of the autoimmune disease process will allow the development of novel diagnostic procedures for early detection and initiation of potential therapy prior to irreversible loss of beta-cells. Within the framework of polyglandular disorders, T1DM may coexist with other organ specific autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD), autoimmune gastritis (AG), celiac disease (CD) and Addison's disease (AD), which are associated with the production of organ-specific autoantibodies. So, as a subset of patients with those autoantibodies will develop clinical disease, screening T1DM patients could prognosticate morbidity relative to unrecognised clinical entities. The close follow-up of patients with organ-specific autoantibodies could lead to seasonable identification of those requiring therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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