Author(s): Mrena S, Savola K, Kulmala P, Reijonen H, Ilonen J,
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Abstract We set out to study the association between human leukocyte antigen-defined genetic disease susceptibility and the stage of preclinical type 1 diabetes and whether genetic predisposition affects the natural course of preclinical diabetes in initially nondiabetic siblings of affected children. A total of 701 initially unaffected siblings were graded into four stages of preclinical type 1 diabetes based on the initial number of disease-associated autoantibodies detectable close to the time of diagnosis of the index case: no prediabetes (no antibodies), early (one antibody specificity), advanced (two antibodies), and late prediabetes (three or more antibodies). Another classification system covering 659 siblings was based on a combination of the initial number of antibodies and the first-phase insulin response (FPIR) to iv glucose: no prediabetes (no antibodies), early (one antibody specificity, normal FPIR), advanced (two or more antibodies, normal FPIR), and late prediabetes (at least one antibody, reduced FPIR). Genetic susceptibility to type 1 diabetes was defined by human leukocyte antigen identity and DR and DQ genotypes. There was a higher proportion of siblings with late prediabetes initially among those with strong genetic disease susceptibility than among those with decreased genetic predisposition (16.7\% vs. 0.5\%; P < 0.001 for DQB1 genotypes according to the first classification), whereas there was a higher proportion of siblings with no signs of prediabetes among those with genotypes conferring decreased risk (91.2\% vs. 70.4\% among those with high-risk DQB1 genotypes; P < 0.001 according to the first classification). Autoantibodies alone were more sensitive in the prediction of future diabetes in siblings than when combined with genetic susceptibility. Genetic susceptibility played a role in whether the initial prediabetic stage progressed (progression in 29.6\% of the high-risk siblings compared with 6.6\% of the siblings with DQB1 genotypes conferring decreased risk; P < 0.001 according to the first classification) and whether overt type 1 diabetes became manifest or not. Genetic susceptibility has an impact on both the initiation and progression of the autoimmune process leading to clinical diabetes in siblings of affected children.
This article was published in J Clin Endocrinol Metab
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism