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Åke Lernmark

Principal investigator

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Spontaneous in vitro immunoglobulin secretion at the diagnosis of insulin-dependent diabetes


  • G. Papadopoulos
  • J. Petersen
  • V. Andersen
  • A. Lernmark
  • B. Marner
  • J. Nerup
  • C. Binder

Summary, in English

Blood mononuclear cells obtained from 17 newly diagnosed insulin-dependent diabetic (IDDM) patients treated with insulin for 5-7 days were assessed for the number of spontaneous and pokeweed mitogen (PWM)-stimulated immunoglobulin-secreting cells in a reverse haemolytic plaque assay. The spontaneous in vitro immunoglobulin secretion was evanescent and decreased in individual patients within 1-4 months of insulin treatment. Compared to matched controls, 53% (9/17) of the IDDM patients had an elevated spontaneous secretion of immunoglobulin, 41% (7/17) for IgG, 35% (6/17) for IgM, and 35% (6/17) for IgA. The quantities of PWM-stimulated IgG, IgM, or IgA secreting cells in IDDM were comparable to the controls. The IDDM patients with spontaneous immunoglobulin secreting cells had higher fasting C-peptide levels compared to the patients with immunoglobulin-producing cells within the normal range (P < 0.05). The average titre of islet cell cytoplasmic antibodies was 1:26 in (9 out of 9 were positive) patients with, compared to 1:1 in patients (4 out of 8 were positive) without spontaneous secretion (P = 0.025). These results suggest that the clinical onset of IDDM is associated with a polyclonal B lymphocyte activation and that higher levels of fasting C-peptide islet cell antibodies are associated with this immunoregulatory abnormality.

Publishing year







Acta Endocrinologica





Document type

Journal article


Society of the European Journal of Endocrinology




  • ISSN: 0001-5598