Sexual dimorphism in transmission of expression of islet autoantibodies to offspring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To help elucidate the mode of inheritance of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), we measured GAD (glutamic acid decarboxylase) autoantibodies (GAD65Ab), insulin autoantibodies (IAA), and cytoplasmic islet cell autoantibodies (ICA) in 292 sequentially screened non-diabetic offspring of patients with IDDM. The prevalence of these islet autoantibodies was higher in offspring of diabetic fathers than in offspring of diabetic mothers. The prevalences of GAD65Ab, IAA, and ICA in the offspring of diabetic fathers were 11.5%, 10.8%, and 8.1% vs 2.1%, 1.4%, and 2.8%, respectively in the offspring of diabetic mothers (p<0.002, p<0.001, and p=0.06 NS). Amongst autoantibody-positive relatives the IAA and ICA levels were significantly higher in offspring of diabetic fathers than of diabetic mothers (p<0.002 and p<0.01, respectively). The frequencies of these autoantibodies were equal in male and female offspring. We conclude that IDDM mothers transmitted islet autoimmunity less frequently to their offspring than IDDM fathers. Given the markedly lower frequency of autoantibodies in offspring of mothers, larger sample sizes will be required to determine whether islet autoantibodies are influenced by age of IDDM onset of mothers, maternal age of pregnancy, and presence of diabetes in these mothers prior to conception.


  • L. Yu
  • H. P. Chase
  • A. Falorni
  • M. Rewers
  • Å Lernmark
  • G. S. Eisenbarth
External organisations
  • University of Colorado
  • Karolinska Institutet
Research areas and keywords


  • autoimmunity, Islet autoantibodies, offspring, transmission
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1353-1357
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Nov 1
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes