HLA antigens and age at diagnosis of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Hum Immunol. 1995 Feb;42(2):116-22. doi: 10.1016/0198-8859(94)00075-2.


IDDM results from the immune-mediated destruction of pancreatic islet beta cells. Clinicopathologic heterogeneity in IDDM is reflected in part by the wide age range over which the onset of clinical symptoms can occur, after months to years of subclinical "insulitis." Because MHC genes play a critical role in immune function we studied their possible contribution to IDDM heterogeneity by analyzing HLA profiles of 194 IDDM patients in relation to their age at diagnosis. Restriction of HLA-DR heterogeneity was observed in patients diagnosed before age 21 years. Frequencies of DR3 and DR3/4 were highest in the < or = 6-year-old age group and thereafter declined with increasing age at diagnosis. In contrast, the frequency of DR4 remained increased up to age 30 years at diagnosis. DR7, normally considered to be a neutral allele, was like DR2 and DR5, significantly decreased in patients diagnosed before age 21 years. The A30-B18-DR3 haplotype was significantly increased in the < or = 6-year-old age group, A1-B8-DR3 was increased in the > or = 31-year-old group. B62-DR4 was increased only in the > 12-year-old age group. In DR4 patients the frequency of DQ8 was increased across all age groups. A sex difference was observed in those diagnosed at < or = 12 years of age, with an excess of females in the DR3+/DR4- group and males in the DR3-/DR4+ group. An association of DPB1 with IDDM was revealed by an increased frequency overall of DPB1*0301 and/or DPB1*0401, being more pronounced in patients diagnosed at > 20 years of age.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology
  • Female
  • HLA-D Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-DP Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male


  • HLA-D Antigens
  • HLA-DP Antigens
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • HLA-DR Antigens