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Disease Markers
Volume 23 (2007), Issue 3, Pages 139-145

Two Insulin Gene Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms Associated with Type 1 Diabetes Risk in the Finnish and Swedish Populations

Antti-Pekka Laine,1 Hanna Holmberg,3 Anita Nilsson,4 Eva Örtqvist,5 Minna Kiviniemi,1 Outi Vaarala,3,6 Hans K. Åkerblom,7 Olli Simell,2 Mikael Knip,7,8 Johnny Ludvigsson,3 Sten-A. Ivarsson,4 Karin Larsson,4 Åke Lernmark,4 and Jorma Ilonen1,9

1Immunogenetics Laboratory, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
2Department of Paediatrics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
3Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
4Department of Endocrinology and Paediatrics, University Hospital Malmö, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden
5Astrid Lindgren’s Children Hospital, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
6Department of Viral Diseases and Immunology, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
7Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
8Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
9Department of Clinical Microbiology, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland

Received 13 April 2007; Accepted 13 April 2007

Copyright © 2007 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We have developed high-throughput tests for the detection of the insulin gene region SNPs −23HphI and −2221MspI. The potential of these markers to enhance the efficiency of type 1 diabetes risk screening was then evaluated by analyzing them in Finnish and Swedish populations. Blood spots on filter paper were analyzed using PCR followed by sequence-specific hybridization and time-resolved fluorometry reading. Distribution of the genotypes at both positions differed significantly among the affected children compared to the controls. The risk genotypes (CC, AA) were significantly more common in Finland than in Sweden, both among patients and controls. The VNTR genotype homozygous for the protective class III alleles showed a significantly stronger protective effect than the heterozygote (p = 0.02). Analyzing both SNPs enabled the detection of VNTR class III subclasses IIIA and IIIB. The observed significance between effects of the protective genotypes was due to the strong protective effect of the IIIA/IIIA genotype. IIIA/IIIA was the only genotype with significant discrepancy between protective effects compared to the other class III genotypes. These observations suggest that heterogeneity between the protective IDDM2 lineages could exist, and analyzing both −23HphI and −2221MspI would thus potentially enhance the sensitivity and specificity of type 1 diabetes risk estimation.