Transient antiislet autoantibodies: infrequent occurrence and lack of association with "genetic" risk factors

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Jul;85(7):2421-8. doi: 10.1210/jcem.85.7.6670.


We hypothesized that genetic determinants of expression of persistent antiislet autoantibodies would similarly influence the expression of transient autoantibodies. To test this hypothesis, we prospectively evaluated sera from 478 relatives (SOC: sibling-offspring cohort) of patients with type 1 diabetes as well as 793 newborns from the general population (NEC: newborn nonrelative cohort) selected for expression of specific human leukocyte antigen haplotypes. Eight relatives of 478 (1.7% of SOC) expressed a transient autoantibody, and none had the high risk genotype DR3/4(DQ2/8). In contrast, 28 relatives (5.9%) had persistent antiislet autoantibodies, and 14 (50%) were DR3/4(DQ2/8) heterozygotes. Thirteen children of 793 (1.6% of NEC) expressed a transient autoantibody, and none had the high risk genotype DR3/4(DQ2/8). Seven of the NEC (0.9%) had persistent antiislet autoantibodies, and 4 (57.1%) were DR3/4(DQ2/8) heterozygous. Expression of persistent autoantibodies was strongly related to human leukocyte antigen status and family history of type 1 diabetes. In contrast, the expression of transient antiislet autoantibodies did not differ by family history of diabetes, and none of the DR3/4(DQ2/8) relatives and DR3/4(DQ2/8) newborns expressed transient autoantibodies. Our results indicate that children can express transient antiislet autoantibodies, but such transient autoantibodies are relatively infrequent and are not correlated with known genetic risk factors for type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Autoantibodies / genetics*
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology
  • Genotype
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Testing
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Insulin / immunology
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Risk Factors


  • Autoantibodies
  • Insulin
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase