Immune complexes containing modified lipoproteins are related to the progression of internal carotid intima-media thickness in patients with type 1 diabetes

Atherosclerosis. 2007 Feb;190(2):359-69. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2006.02.007. Epub 2006 Mar 10.


Modified lipoproteins induce autoimmune responses including the synthesis of autoantibodies with pro-inflammatory characteristics. Circulating modified lipoprotein autoantibodies combine with circulating antigens and form immune complexes (IC). We now report the results of a study investigating the role of circulating IC containing modified lipoproteins in the progression of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in patients enrolled in the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) Trial, a follow-up study of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT). This cohort includes 1229 patients with type 1 diabetes in whom B-mode ultrasonography of internal and common carotid arteries was performed in 1994-1996 and in 1998-2000. Conventional CHD risk factors, antibodies against modified forms of LDL and modified lipoprotein IC were determined in 1050 of these patients from blood collected in 1996-1998. Cholesterol and apolipoprotein B content of IC (surrogate markers of modified ApoB-rich lipoproteins) were significantly higher in patients who showed progression of the internal carotid IMT than in those showing no progression, regression or mild progression. Multivariate linear and logistic regression modeling using conventional and non-conventional risk factors showed that the cholesterol content of IC was a significant positive predictor of internal carotid IMT progression. In conclusion these data demonstrate that increased levels of modified ApoB-rich IC are associated with increased progression of internal carotid IMT in the DCCT/EDIC cohort of type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies / blood
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / blood
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / pathology*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / pathology*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / blood
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / pathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Lipoproteins / immunology
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Tunica Intima / pathology*
  • Tunica Media / pathology*


  • Antibodies
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Lipoproteins
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol