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Åke Lernmark

Principal investigator

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Prospective evaluation of β-cell function in insulin antoantibody-positive relatives of insulin-dependent diabetic patients


  • James L. Neifing
  • Carla J. Greenbaum
  • Steven E. Kahn
  • David K. McCulloch
  • Heike Barmeier
  • Åke Lernmark
  • Jerry P. Palmer

Summary, in English

During the preclinical period of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), progression to clinical IDDM is characterized by declining β-cell function. Although the presence of insulin autoantibodies (IAA) improves the ability of islet cell antibodies (ICA) to predict subsequent clinical IDDM, few studies have examined the risk of developing IDDM in subjects positive for IAA but negative for both ICA and antibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase (64kA). To investigate this question, detailed β-cell function tests (acute insulin response to glucose [AIRgluc] and slope of glucose potentiation) were performed on eight IAA-positive first-degree relatives of insulin-dependent diabetics. All eight subjects were negative for ICA, and seven were tested for 64kA and were negative. Five subjects were studied prospectively for 22.4 ± 9.4 months, while three subjects had only initial studies. Initial β-cell function tests were normal in each subject. AIRgluc was 122.2% ± 19.0% of the expected normal response, while slope was 168.6% ± 20.6% of expected normal response. β-cell function remained normal and remarkably stable in the five subjects followed prospectively. AIRgluc did not significantly change from an initial value of 147.9% ± 23.1% of expected to 153.2% ± 22.4% (NS). The slope of glucose potentiation varied little from 165.5% ± 39.4% initially to 159.5% ± 27.3% (NS) at the most recent determination. We conclude that among nondiabetic first-degree relatives of IDDM subjects, the presence of IAA in the absence of ICA and 64kA is not usually associated with and therefore does not reliably predict β-cell dysfunction or progressive deterioration in β-cell function.

Publishing year












Document type

Journal article






  • ISSN: 0026-0495