Cord Serum Lipidome in Prediction of Islet Autoimmunity and Type 1 Diabetes

  1. Olli Simell2,3
  1. 1VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo, Finland.
  2. 2Department of Pediatrics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
  3. 3Hospital District of Southwest Finland, Turku, Finland.
  4. 4Department of Virology, School of Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
  5. 5Fimlab Laboratories, Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Tampere, Finland.
  6. 6Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
  7. 7Department of Clinical Microbiology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
  8. 8Immunogenetics Laboratory, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
  9. 9Children’s Hospital, University of Helsinki, Finland
  10. 10Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
  11. 11Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
  12. 12Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland.
  1. Corresponding author: Matej Orešič matej.oresic{at}


Earlier studies show that children who later progress to type 1 diabetes (T1D) have decreased pre-autoimmune concentrations of multiple phospholipids as compared to non-progressors. It is still unclear whether these changes associate with development of β-cell autoimmunity or specifically with clinical T1D. Here we studied umbilical cord serum lipidome in newborn infants who later developed T1D (N=33), infants who developed three or four (N=31), two (N=31), or one (N=48) islet autoantibody during the follow-up, and controls (N=143) matched for gender, HLA-DQB1 genotype, city and period of birth. The analyses of serum molecular lipids were performed using the established lipidomics platform based on Ultra Performance Liquid ChromatographyTM coupled to mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS). We found that T1D progressors are characterized by a distinct cord blood lipidomic profile which includes reduced major choline-containing phospholipids including sphingomyelins and phosphatidylcholines. A molecular signature was developed comprising seven lipids which predicted high risk for progression to T1D, with an odds ratio of 5.94 (95% CI, 1.07 - 17.50). Reduction in choline-containing phospholipids in cord blood is therefore specifically associated with progression to T1D but not with development of β-cell autoimmunity in general.

  • Received January 30, 2013.
  • Accepted April 23, 2013.

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