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Autoimmunity. 1994;19(2):113-25.

Radioimmunoassay detects the frequent occurrence of autoantibodies to the Mr 65,000 isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase in Japanese insulin-dependent diabetes.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GAD65Ab) are common in new onset Caucasian insulin-dependent diabetic (IDDM) patients but it is unclear if this marker is also prevalent in patients of other ethnic backgrounds. We determined antibodies against human recombinant GAD in Japanese diabetic patients using a radioimmunoassay with competition between in vitro translated 35S-GAD65 and non-labelled recombinant human GAD65 (rhGAD65). GAD67 antibodies (GAD67Ab) were similarly analyzed but without antigen competition. In 73 Japanese diabetic patients, GAD65Ab were found in 11/16 (69%) of patients with short-duration (less than 5 yrs) IDDM, 6/23 (26%) with long-duration (5 or more yrs) IDDM and 10/20 (50%) with slowly progressive diabetes. High GAD65Ab levels were associated with concomitant autoimmune diseases (p = 0.021). GAD67Ab were found in 4/16 (25%) of patients with short-duration IDDM, 3/23 (13%) with long-duration IDDM and 2/20 (10%) with slowly progressive diabetes. In 14 non-insulin dependent diabetic (NIDDM) patients, GAD65Ab and GAD67Ab were not found (0/14) and 1/50 (2%) healthy controls were positive in either assay. Among the GAD67Ab-positive samples, 8/9 (88%) were also high level GAD65Ab positive, 7/9 (77%) were displaced by an excess of rhGAD65 and the antibody levels correlated (r2 = 0.573; p = 0.003). Our data are consistent with a strong association of GAD65Ab also in Japanese IDDM, and suggest that, when present, GAD67Ab are frequently directed to epitope(s) common to GAD65 and GAD67.

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