Aims: To test for anti-CD38 autoimmunity in children with newly-diagnosed type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM1). Methods: Serum anti-CD38 autoantibodies were detected by Western blot in 270 children (130 girls, 140 boys, mean age 8 ± 4 years) with newly-diagnosed DM1. and 179 gender- and age-matched non-diabetic children. In 126 diabetic children, another blood sample was obtained 15 ± 4 months after the diagnosis. Results: Anti-CD38 autoantibody titers at least 3 SD above the mean value for the control group were found in 4.4% of children with DM1 vs 0.6% of controls (χ2 = 5.8, p <0.016). No statistical differences were observed between anti-CD38 positive and negative patients in terms of phenotype. At follow-up, of six diabetic children who were positive for anti-CD38 antibodies, two were new cases. A positive correlation was found between the antibody titer of diabetic sera at diagnosis and follow up (r = 0.46, p <0.0001). Conclusion: An autoimmune reaction against CD38, a protein expressed in human islets, is associated with newly-diagnosed DM1. In children with DM1, CD38 autoimmunity increases with time and persists.
- CD38 antibodies
- GAD antibodies
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism