Anti-glutamate decarboxylase and other antibodies at the onset of childhood IDDM: a population-based study

Diabetologia. 1994 Nov;37(11):1113-20. doi: 10.1007/BF00418375.


Sera obtained at diagnosis from 273 children (0-14 years) with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) were studied to compare different autoantibody levels. The subjects comprise 75% of all incident cases in New South Wales, Australia, for a 2-year period (ascertainment > 99% complete). Antibodies against glutamate decarboxylase were measured by radioimmunoprecipitation, insulin autoantibodies (on 176 sera collected within 4 days of initiation of insulin therapy) by radioimmunoassay, thyroid peroxidase and antigliadin IgA antibodies by enzyme-linked immunoassay, and anti-endomysial IgA and islet cell antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence. Reference ranges for anti-glutamate decarboxylase and insulin autoantibodies were determined in a group of non-diabetic children. Of the sera 69% were positive for anti-glutamate decarboxylase, 65% for insulin autoantibodies, 71% for islet cell antibodies (> or = 20 Juvenile Diabetes Foundation units), 10% for anti-thyroid peroxidase, 2.6% for antigliadin and 3.0% for anti-endomysial antibodies. Islet cell antibodies and insulin autoantibodies were both negative in 13.7% of the sera, while only 5.8% were negative for all three of islet cell antibodies, insulin autoantibodies and anti-glutamate decarboxylase. There was a higher frequency of anti-glutamate decarboxylase among girls than boys (75% vs 63%, p = 0.03) and a negative correlation between the level of insulin autoantibodies and age at diagnosis (r = -0.41, p < 0.0001). A higher frequency of antithyroid peroxidase was found with increasing age (p = 0.05). Higher titres of islet cell antibodies were associated with a higher frequency of both anti-glutamate decarboxylase (p < 0.0001) and insulin autoantibodies (p = 0.003).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autoantibodies / analysis*
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Insulin / immunology*
  • Iodide Peroxidase / immunology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology*
  • Male
  • New South Wales / epidemiology
  • Population
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Radioimmunoprecipitation Assay


  • Autoantibodies
  • Insulin
  • Iodide Peroxidase
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase