Islet cell antibody
Type 1 diabetes
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Alterations of lymphocyte subsets have been recently reported in pre-type 1 diabetes but the relation with other immunological markers, in particular islet cell antibodies (ICA), is still unknown. In the present study, we have investigated prospectively changes of lymphocyte subsets in 86 first-degree relatives of patients affected by type 1 diabetes and correlated such modifications with ICA titres. Among individuals with persistent ICA, 8 had ICA titres of more than 20 JDF units, 14 had ICA titres between 5 and 20 JDF units and 64 had ICA titres between 0 and 5 JDF units. First-degree relatives with ICA titres of more than 20 JDF units had significantly decreased proportions of CD3 cells. This reduction was predominantly in the CD4 subset, giving rise to a decreased CD4/CD8 lymphocyte ratio. Those with ICA titres between 5 and 20 JDF units showed abnormalities in both CD3 and CD4 lymphocytes, but not in CD4/CD8 lymphocyte ratio. Further characterization of the CD4 cell subset was performed using three other monoclonal antibodies, CD45RO (UCHL1), CD45RA and CD29, phenotyping memory T-cells, the inducer cells of suppressor function and helper-inducer cells, respectively. The proportions of total CD45RO and CD45RA were not significantly different among first-degree relative with distinct ICA titres in a cross-sectional studt, whereas a trend towards a reduced proportion of CD4/ CD45RA cells was observed. The longitudinal study demonstrated that individuals potentially susceptible to the development of type 1 diabetes and who possess high titres of ICA have impairment of CD4/CD8 lymphocyte ratio, mainly due to a reduction in the CD4 subset. This alteration may contribute to the initial generation of the autoimmune response towards beta cells. All the calculations were made using minimum median and maximum value analyses.
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