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International Journal of Experimental Diabetes Research
Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 1-9

Markers for Risk of Type 1 Diabetes in Relatives of Alsacian Patients With Type 1 Diabetes

1Centre Européen d'Etude du Diabète-Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, France
2Institut de Physique Biologique, Unité d'Analyses Endocriniennes UPRES-A 7004-ULP/CNRS, Faculté de Médecine, Université Louis Pasteur de Strasbourg, , France

Received 8 February 2001; Revised 12 October 2001

Copyright © 2002 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.


Background: The cytotoxic T lymphocyteassociated antigen 4 gene (CTLA-4) encode the T cell receptor involved in the control of T cell proliferation and mediates T cell apoptosis. The receptor protein is a specific T lymphocyte surface antigen that is detected on cells only after antigen presentation. Thus, CTLA-4 is directly involved in both immune and autoimmune responses and may be involved in the pathogenesis of multiple T cell-mediated autoimmune disorders. There is polymorphism at position 49 in exon 1 of the CTLA-4 gene, providing an A-G exchange. Moreover, we assessed the CTLA-4 49 (Thr/Ala) polymorphism in diabetic patients and first-degree relatives as compared to control subjects.

Research design and methods: Three loci (HLA-DQB1, DQA1 and CTLA-4) were analysed in 62 type 1 diabetic patients, 72 firstdegree relatives and 84 nondiabetic control subjects by means of PCR-RFLP.

Results: A significant enrichment in DQB1 alleles encoding for an amino acid different from Asp in position 57 (NA) and DQA1 alleles encoding for Arg in position 52 was observed in diabetic subjects and first-degree relatives as compared to controls. The genotype and allele frequencies of these polymorphisms in type 1 diabetic patients and firstdegree relatives differed significantly from those of controls (p< 0.001 and 0.05 respectively). CTLA-49 Ala alleles frequencies were 75.8% in type 1 diabetic patients and 68.1% in first-degree relatives in comparison to 35.7% in control subjects. The Ala/Ala genotype conferred a relative risk of 18.8 (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: The CTLA-4 49 Ala allele confers an increased risk of type 1 diabetes, independent of age and HLA-DQ genetic markers.