Islet autoantibody markers in IDDM: risk assessment strategies yielding high sensitivity

Diabetologia. 1995 Jul;38(7):816-22. doi: 10.1007/s001250050358.


Identification of islet autoantigens offers the possibility that antibody tests other than islet cell antibodies may be used for assessing risk of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). The aim of this study was to determine the combination of islet autoantibody markers that could identify most future cases of IDDM. Islet cell antibodies, antibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD)65, 37,000/40,000 M(r) islet tryptic fragments, carboxypeptidase-H, and islet cell autoantigen (ICA)69 were measured in sera from 100 newly-diagnosed IDDM patients, 27 individuals prior to onset of IDDM, and 83 control subjects. Islet cell antibodies were detected in 88% of IDDM patients and 81% with pre-IDDM, GAD65 antibodies in 70% of IDDM patients and 89% with pre-IDDM, and antibodies to 37,000/40,000 M(r) islet tryptic fragments in 54% of IDDM patients and in 48% with pre-IDDM. The latter were found only in conjunction with islet cell antibodies and were more frequent in young onset cases. All 20 IDDM patients and the 3 pre-IDDM subjects who had islet cell antibodies without GAD65 antibodies had antibodies to 37,000/40,000 M(r) islet tryptic fragments, and all but one had disease onset before age 15 years. No sera strongly immunoprecipitated in vitro translated ICA69 or carboxypeptidase-H; 4% of patients had anti-ICA69 and 11% anti-carboxypeptidase-H levels above those of the control subjects. The findings suggest that none of the single antibody specificities are as sensitive as islet cell antibodies, but that a combination of GAD65 antibodies and antibodies to 37,000/40,000 M(r) islet tryptic fragments has the potential to identify more than 90% of future cases of IDDM.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Animals
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / analysis
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Insulinoma
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms
  • Prediabetic State / blood
  • Prediabetic State / immunology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Rats
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • islet cell antibody
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase