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      Influence of Sex and Age at Onset on Autoantibodies against Insulin, GAD 65 and IA2 in Recent Onset Type 1 Diabetic Patients

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          Methods: Autoantibodies against insulin (IAA), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GADA) and tyrosine phosphatase IA2 (IA2A) were measured in sera from 448 recent onset patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) subdivided according to sex (194 female and 254 male) and age at onset (134 patients diagnosed before 10 years, 187 between 10 and 20 years, 66 between 20 and 30 years and 61 over 30 years. Results: Autoantibodies were more frequent in female DM patients (93.8 vs. 86.6%, p = 0.013) due to an increased prevalence of both GADA (86.1 vs. 70.1%) and IA2A (59.3 vs. 49.2%), with GADA levels also significantly higher in women (0.24 vs. 0.18 U, p = 0.0003). When age groups were compared, there was a reduction in prevalence in patients over 20 years for both IAA (70% for patients diagnosed under 20 and 36% for older patients) and IA2A (65 and 25%, respectively). These differences also affected IAA levels, with the highest antibody titres in the youngest group (1,214.1 nU/ml in children under 10 compared to 546.9, 345.6 and 341.1 nU/ml in the subsequent groups; p < 10<sup>–4</sup>). GADA prevalence did not differ significantly between age groups but, nevertheless, autoantibody levels were highest among the oldest type 1 DM patients (0.327 U compared to 0.216, 0.197 and 0.176 U in the decreasing age groups; p < 10<sup>–4</sup>). Conclusion: There are sex- and age-related differences affecting the presence and/or titres of β cell autoantibodies. We speculate that these differences could reflect the severity and specificity of the autoimmune attack against the endocrine pancreas and might influence the rate of progression to type 1 DM or the risk of developing other autoimmune diseases.

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          Radioimmunoassays for glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65) and GAD65 autoantibodies using 35S or 3H recombinant human ligands.

          Autoantibodies are an important marker of human autoimmune diseases and the development of simple, precise and reproducible immunoassays to detect autoantibodies is important to our understanding of human autoimmunity. GAD65 autoantibodies occur frequently in insulin-dependent diabetic patients and is a useful marker for IDDM. A RIA to detect immunoreactive GAD65 has not been described. In the present study we describe a semi-automated fluid-phase immunoassay for the rapid detection of GAD65 autoantibodies in human serum. We also developed a sensitive RIA to determine immunoreactive human GAD65 in biological fluids and in vitro cell systems. Using in vitro translated recombinant human GAD65 in a multiwell-adapted procedure, our GAD65Ab RIA combines high specificity and sensitivity with a high capacity to analyze a large number of samples. In this report the three critical steps in the GAD65Ab RIA, DNA preparation, in vitro translation and immunoprecipitation, have been optimized. In our RIA, GAD65Ab were detected in 116/155 (75%) new onset Swedish IDDM children and in 1/85 (1.2%) healthy controls. In an immunoassay to detect autoantibodies against the proinsulin converting enzyme 2 (PC-2) no such antibodies were detected in IDDM patients. In the GAD65 RIA the lower detection limit was 2 ng/ml (31 fmol/ml). Our data demonstrate that autoantigen radioligands produced by in vitro translation are useful in RIA for autoantibodies and autoantigens in studies of human autoimmunity.

            Author and article information

            Horm Res Paediatr
            Hormone Research in Paediatrics
            S. Karger AG
            22 June 2001
            : 54
            : 4
            : 181-185
            Endocrinology and Diabetes Research Group, Hospital de Cruces, University of Basque Country, Barakaldo, Basque Country, Spain
            53256 Horm Res 2000;54:181–185
            © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

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            Figures: 1, Tables: 2, References: 25, Pages: 5
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