We analyzed demographic and genetic differences between children with various diabetes-associated autoantibodies reflecting the autoimmune process. In a prospective birth cohort comprising children with HLA-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes (T1D), the pattern of autoantibody appearance was analyzed in 520 children with advanced β-cell autoimmunity associated with high risk for disease. In 315 cases, a single biochemical autoantibody could be identified in the first positive sample as insulin (insulin autoantibody [IAA]) in 180, as GAD (GAD antibody [GADA]) in 107, and as IA-2 antigen (IA-2 antibody [IA-2A]) in 28. The age at seroconversion differed significantly between the three groups (P = 0.003). IAA as the first autoantibody showed a peak time of appearance during the second year of life, whereas GADA as the first autoantibody peaked later, between 3 and 5 years of age. The risk-associated insulin gene rs689 A/A genotypes were more frequent in children with IAA as the first autoantibody compared with the other children (P = 0.002). The primary autoantigen in the development of β-cell autoimmunity and T1D seems to strongly correlate with age and genetic factors, indicating heterogeneity in the initiation of the disease process.
This article contains Supplementary Data online at http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.2337/db13-0300/-/DC1.
- Received February 21, 2013.
- Accepted June 20, 2013.
- © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.
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