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Abnormal Levels of Serum Antielastin Antibodies in Children with Diabetes Mellitus Type 1
  1. George Nicoloff,
  2. Antony S. Weiss,
  3. Violeta Iotova,
  4. Valentina Tzaneva,
  5. Chayka Petrova,
  6. Nadja Domuschieva,
  7. Asparuh Nikolov,
  8. Plamen Tzvetanov,
  9. Petkana Christova
  1. From the Department of Biology and Pathological Physiology (G.N., A.N.), Medical University, Pleven, Bulgaria; School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences G08 (A.S.W.), University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; Department of Pediatrics and Genetics (V.I., V.T.), Medical University, Varna, Bulgaria; Department of Pediatrics (Ch.P.), Medical University, Pleven, Bulgaria; Department of Neurology and Neurophysiology (P.T.), Medical University, Pleven, Bulgaria; and Department of Social Medicine (P.C.), Medical University, Pleven, Bulgaria.
  1. Address correspondence to: Dr. G. Nicoloff, Department of Biology and Pathological Physiology, Medical University, 1 St. Kliment Ohridski Street, 5800 Pleven, Bulgaria; e-mail: nicoloff_bg{at}


Antibodies to α-elastin (elastin breakdown product) and elastin sequences devoid of cross-linked regions (linear elastin) are found in the serum of all human subjects and correlate with their respective serum peptide levels. The aim of this study was to determine if the serum level of antielastin antibodies (AEAbs) differs between type 1 diabetic children and nondiabetic children. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure the levels of immunoglobulin (Ig)G and IgM AEAbs in the sera of 45 diabetic children (mean age 12.8 ± 3.2 years, diabetes duration 5.3 ± 3.6 years). Twenty-two children presented with vascular complications (group 1), whereas 23 displayed no vascular complications (group 2). The controls were 18 healthy children (mean age 11.9 ± 2.3 years). Diabetic patients showed statistically significant higher levels of IgM α-AEAbs (0.82 ± 0.26 vs 0.61 ± 0.14, p = .0013) than the control group. In group 1, α-AEAbs showed statistically significant higher level than controls: IgG (0.86 ± 0.42 vs 0.59 ± 0.12; p = .0109) and IgM (0.88 ± 0.24 vs 0.61 ± 0.14; p = .0001). IgM antilinear elastin antibodies (ALEAbs) in group 1 were significantly lower than in controls (0.462 ± 0.191 vs 0.652 ± 0.127; p= .0009). IgG α-AEAbs showed correlation with microalbuminuria (r = −.26; p = .05) and IgM ALEAbs correlated with microalbuminuria (r = −.32; p = .035). IgG α-AEAbs correlated with neuropathy (r = −.32; p = .035). Group 1 patients displayed a correlation between IgG ALEAbs and retinopathy (r = −.48; p = .023) and IgM ALEAbs and microalbuminuria (r = .52; p = .014). Levels of AEAbs and ALEAbs can serve as immunologic markers of the extent of elastin degradation. These markers may provide a tool to study elastin metabolism and a potential clinical role for AEAbs in the pathogenesis and development of vascular complications in diabetic children.

Key words
  • diabetes mellitus
  • antielastin antibodies
  • microalbuminuria
  • retinopathy
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