Objective: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is commonly associated with autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD), and the occurrence of both T1D and AITD in a patient is defined as autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 3 variant (APS3v). We aimed to clarify the differences in the clinical and genetic characteristics of APS3v patients and T1D patients without AITD [T1D/AITD(-)] in the Japanese population.
Design/patients: Our subjects were 54 APS3v patients and 143 T1D/AITD(-) patients who were consecutively diagnosed at Nagasaki University Hospital from 1983 to the present.
Results: A remarkable female predominance, a slow and older age onset of T1D, and a higher prevalence of glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies were observed in APS3v patients compared to T1D/AITD(-) patients. The older onset age of T1D in APS3v patients was associated with a higher proportion of slow-onset T1D. Among the two major susceptible human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II haplotypes in Japanese T1D, DRB1*0405-DQB1*0401, but not DRB1*0901-DQB1*0303, was associated with APS3v patients. Furthermore, DRB1*0803-DQB1*0601 was not protective in patients with APS3v. The frequencies of the GG genotype in +49G>A and +6230G>A polymorphism in the CTLA4 gene were significantly higher in T1D/AITD(-) patients, but not in APS3v patients, compared to control subjects.
Conclusions: In conclusion, we found notable differences in the clinical and genetic characteristics of APS3v patients and T1D/AITD(-) patients in the Japanese population, and the differences in the clinical characteristics between the two groups may reflect distinct genetic backgrounds including the HLA DRB1-DQB1 haplotypes and CTLA4 gene polymorphisms.