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Horm Metab Res. 2010 Dec;42(13):955-60. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1267206. Epub 2010 Oct 22.

Circulating Reg1α proteins and autoantibodies to Reg1α proteins as biomarkers of β-cell regeneration and damage in type 1 diabetes.

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Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry, Bart's and The London, London, UK.


Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where β-cells are in a constant process of death and renewal. Reg genes play a role in β-cells regeneration. Reg proteins may be target of an autoimmune response in type 1 diabetes with consequent production of autoantibodies and failure of regeneration. The objective of this work was to characterize the role of Reg1α proteins and anti-Reg1α antibodies as biomarkers of β-cell regeneration and damage. Serum levels of Reg1α protein were investigated in 87 type 1 diabetic subjects (31 newly diagnosed and 56 long standing), 63 type 2 diabetic subjects, 39 subjects with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a nonpancreatic autoimmune disorder, and 64 healthy subjects. The presence of anti-Reg1α antibodies and correlation with metabolic, immune, and genetic parameters were analyzed in diabetic subjects. Increased levels of Reg1α protein were observed in newly diagnosed (p=0.002), and long standing (p=0.001) type 1 diabetes patients and type 2 diabetic subjects (p<0.001). Anti-Reg1α antibodies were found in 47% of patients with type 1 diabetes. No correlation was found with metabolic, immune, and genetic parameters. Patients with SLE showed no increase in Reg1α protein. We report here for the first time raised serum Reg1α protein in type 1 and type 2 diabetes and anti-Reg1α antibodies in type 1 diabetes. Reg1α levels appear not to be influenced by genetic or metabolic control. These findings allow considering future studies on Reg1α protein and autoantibody as new tools in the evaluation and monitoring of β-cells regeneration and autoimmunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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