Clinical and genetic characteristics of diabetic patients with high-titer (>10,000 U/ml) of antibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase

Michiyo Ishii, Goji Hasegawa, Michiaki Fukui, Hiroshi Obayashi, Mitsuhiro Ohta, Masakazu Ogata, Keiji Yoshioka, Yoshihiro Kitagawa, Koji Nakano, Toshikazu Yoshikawa, Naoto Nakamura
Immunology Letters 2005 July 15, 99 (2): 180-5
We investigated the clinical aspects and genetic background of 13 diabetic patients with high-titers (>10,000 U/ml) of anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase antibody (Group A) and compared these 28 middle-aged (35-51 years, Group B) and 13 elderly (66-79 years, Group C) patients with anti-GAD(+) (<1100 U/ml) who were diagnosed initially as having type 2 diabetes. The mean age and mean age at onset of Group A were 70.8 +/- 3.9 years (range, 64-78) and 50.4 +/- 5.4 years (range, 43-61), respectively. In Group A, the prevalence of insulin-deficient patients was significantly lower (30.8%, 4 of 13) than in Group C (96.3%, 27 of 28, P < 0.001). Patients in Group A had a significantly longer interval between the clinical onset of diabetes to initiation insulin therapy (21.8 +/- 2.3 years) compared to patients in both Group B (1.8+/-1.1 years, P < 0.001) and Group C (14.8 +/- 7.1 years, P = 0.049). The frequency of DRB1*0405-DQB1*0401/DRB1*1502-DQB1*0601 or DRB*1501-DQB*0602 heterozygous genotypes in Group A (53.8%, 7 of 13) was significantly higher than in both Group B (3.6%, 1 of 28, P < 0.01) and Group C (7.7%, 1 of 13, P < 0.05). Compared with Group B, Group A had an increased frequency of the TNFA-U01 haplotype and the IL-10 -592 C allele (TNFA-U01; 53.8% versus 30.4%, P = 0.05 and IL-10 -592 C; 57.7% versus 33.9 %, P = 0.042). All sera from Group A reacted with GAD(65) protein on Western blots. We conclude that adult-onset diabetic patients with a high-titer of anti-GDAab differ from patients with latent autoimmune diabetes mellitus in adult (LADA) with respect to beta-cell function, cellular autoimmunity and genetic background. Our study also showed that high-titers of antibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase (anti-GADab) were not predictive of later development of insulin deficiency in adult and/or elderly patients with type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, our results suggest that HLA-DRB1*1502-DQB1*0601 or DRB1*1501-DQB1*0602/DRB1*0405-DQB1*0401 heterozygous genotypes may be associated with high production of anti-GADab that recognizes the linear epitope(s) on the GAD(65) protein.

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