Diabetes-related antibodies in adult diabetic patients

Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Mar;19(1):119-33. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2004.11.010.


Islet autoimmunity is made evident by the appearance of islet-cell antibodies directed against insulin (IAA), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GADA), protein tyrosine phosphatase IA-2 (IA-2Ab) and other autoantigens. IAA and IA-2Ab are predominantly detected in childhood type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), while frequency of GADA is not affected by age. In adult-onset T1DM patients, GADA is the immune marker of higher diagnostic sensitivity. In adult diabetic patients not requiring insulin treatment for at least 6 months after diagnosis, GADA identifies the so-called latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). In over 80% of cases, LADA patients develop insulin dependency within a few years after the diagnosis and have an increased risk for the development of other organ-specific autoimmune diseases. High GADA titers identify a subgroup of LADA patients with low body mass index (BMI), low C-peptide levels and increased frequency of T1DM-related HLA class II haplotypes. GADA assay should be offered to every diabetic patient, and in cases of positivity screening for other autoimmune diseases should be carried out.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors


  • Autoantibodies
  • islet cell antibody