Pancreatic Islet Autoantibodies as Predictors of Type 1 Diabetes

Pancreatic islet cells produce insulin, a hormone that allows cells in the body to absorb glucose from the blood.

| Nov 30, 2009

Many autoimmune diseases, such as lupus erythematosis and type 1 diabetes, are caused by autoantibodies. An autoantibody is an antibody (a protein) produced by the immune system of an individual, which is directed against a different protein of the the same individual.

An antibody is typically produced in response to a foreign protein in the body, for example, an infectious organism.  The immune system is usually able to recognize and ignore the body's own cells and not produce antibodies against them.  At times, however, the immune system fails to recognize a protein in the body as "self" and produces autoantibodies which attack the protein.  This can lead to tissue or organ inflammation and damage. 

There is limited information in the scientific literature concerning the predictability of type 1 diabetes based on specific types of pancreatic islet autoantibodies, either alone or in combination. Pancreatic islet cells produce insulin, a hormone that allows cells in the body to absorb glucose from the blood.

A study published in the December 2009 issue of Diabetes Care attempted to determine which pancreatic islet autoantibodies, or what combination of autoantibodies, best predict type 1 diabetes.  Subjects were taken from the Diabetes Prevention Trial-Type 1, who were previously screened for islet cell autoantibodies (ICAs).

Autoantibodies to glutamate decarboxylase (GAD65), insulinoma-associated antigen-2 (ICA512), and insulin (micro-IAA [mIAA]) were measured in participants of the study.  The participants were then followed for the occurrence of type 1 diabetes. As it turns out, autoantibody number was highly predictive of type 1 diabetes.  Single autoantibodies ICA, GAD65, and ICA512 were all similarly predictive of type 1 diabetes. However, no subjects with mIAA as single autoantibodies developed type 1 diabetes.

The data, examined by corresponding author Jay M. Sosenko in the Division of Endocrinology, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, and colleagues, revealed that that the number of autoantibodies is highly predictive of type 1 diabetes. However, mIAA is less predictive of type 1 diabetes than other autoantibodies. The authors concluded that autoantibody number, and the type of autoantibody must be carefully considered in planning future prevention trials for type 1 diabetes.

This information about the process of developing the autoimmune disease diabetes moves us closer to the point that we can predict and prevent it from occurring -closer to a cure.

Diabetes Care December 2009

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Islet & Pancreas Transplant, Research, Type 1 Issues

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (4)

You May Also Be Interested In...

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Comments 4 comments - Nov 30, 2009

©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.