Complement-fixing islet-cell antibodies in type-I diabetes: possible monitors of active beta-cell damage

Lancet. 1980 Mar 29;1(8170):668-72.


Evidence is presented for the existence of a separate species of islet-cell antibodies which fix complement. Investigations in type I diabetics, non-diabetic polyendocrine patients, and unaffected first-degree relatives of type I diabetic probands show that the complement-fixing islet-cell antibodies are more closely related to the onset of clinical disease than the conventional islet-cell antibody, and they tend to disappear more rapidly. The complement-fixing antibodies may reflect damage of pancreatic beta cells more selectively and may be preferable to the conventional antibody as a serological marker for studying the natural history of type I diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autoantibodies / analysis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Complement C1 / immunology
  • Complement C3 / immunology
  • Complement C4 / immunology
  • Complement Fixation Tests
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Autoantibodies
  • Complement C1
  • Complement C3
  • Complement C4
  • Complement System Proteins