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Open AccessArticle

Unmethylated Insulin as an Adjunctive Marker of Beta Cell Death and Progression to Type 1 Diabetes in Participants at Risk for Diabetes

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Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, 1775 Aurora Ct, MSA140, Bldg 20, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
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Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
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Department of Immunology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA
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L2 Diagnostics, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 3857; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20163857
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 1 August 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 8 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
Islet autoantibody (iAb)-positive individuals have a high risk of progression to type 1 diabetes (T1D), although the rate of progression is highly variable and factors involved in the rate of progression are largely unknown. The ratio of unmethylated/methylated insulin DNA levels (unmethylated INS ratio) has been shown to be higher in participants at high risk of T1D compared to healthy controls. We aimed to evaluate whether an unmethylated INS ratio may be a useful biomarker of beta cell death and rate of progression to T1D. In TrialNet participants who were followed in the Pathway to Prevention Study and progressed to diabetes (n = 57, median age of onset 15.3 years), we measured unmethylated INS ratio and autoantibodies by electrochemiluminescence (ECL) assays (ECL-IAA, ECL-GADA, and ECL-IA2) and radioimmunoassays (RIA) (mIAA, GADA, IA2A, and ZnT8A) longitudinally for 24 months prior to diagnosis. Linear models were used to test the association between unmethylated INS ratio and the age at T1D diagnosis and unmethylated INS ratio and iAb over time. Close to diabetes onset, the unmethylated INS ratio was associated with mIAA (p = 0.003), ECL-IAA (p = 0.002), and IA2A (p = 0.01) levels, but not with GADA, ECL-GADA, ECL-IA2, or ZnT8A levels. No significant associations were found at baseline (24 months prior to T1D diagnosis). Only mIAA levels were significantly associated with an unmethylated INS ratio over time, with a 0.24 change in the ratio for each 0.1 change in mIAA z-score (p = 0.02). Adjusting for a baseline unmethylated INS ratio, an increased rate of change in unmethylated INS ratio from baseline to diabetes onset was associated with a five-year decrease in age at T1D diagnosis (p = 0.04). View Full-Text
Keywords: type 1 diabetes; biomarkers; prediction; beta cell death type 1 diabetes; biomarkers; prediction; beta cell death
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Simmons, K.M.; Fouts, A.; Pyle, L.; Clark, P.; Dong, F.; Yu, L.; Usmani-Brown, S.; Gottlieb, P.; Herold, K.C.; Steck, A.K.; The Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study Group. Unmethylated Insulin as an Adjunctive Marker of Beta Cell Death and Progression to Type 1 Diabetes in Participants at Risk for Diabetes. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 3857.

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