Trisomy 21 Is a Cause of Permanent Neonatal Diabetes That Is Autoimmune but Not HLA Associated

Diabetes. 2019 Jul;68(7):1528-1535. doi: 10.2337/db19-0045. Epub 2019 Apr 8.


Identifying new causes of permanent neonatal diabetes (PNDM) (diagnosis <6 months) provides important insights into β-cell biology. Patients with Down syndrome (DS) resulting from trisomy 21 are four times more likely to have childhood diabetes with an intermediate HLA association. It is not known whether DS can cause PNDM. We found that trisomy 21 was seven times more likely in our PNDM cohort than in the population (13 of 1,522 = 85 of 10,000 observed vs. 12.6 of 10,000 expected) and none of the 13 DS-PNDM patients had a mutation in the known PNDM genes that explained 82.9% of non-DS PNDM. Islet autoantibodies were present in 4 of 9 DS-PNDM patients, but DS-PNDM was not associated with polygenic susceptibility to type 1 diabetes (T1D). We conclude that trisomy 21 is a cause of autoimmune PNDM that is not HLA associated. We propose that autoimmune diabetes in DS is heterogeneous and includes coincidental T1D that is HLA associated and diabetes caused by trisomy 21 that is not HLA associated.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / genetics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics
  • Down Syndrome / complications*
  • Down Syndrome / genetics*
  • Female
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mutation / genetics

Supplementary concepts

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Permanent Neonatal