OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes have increased serum levels of the glycoxidation product Nepsilon-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML) at an early stage of the disease. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The serum levels of CML in 38 patients with type 1 diabetes aged 14+/-3.2 (mean+/-SD) years were compared with those in 26 control subjects aged 16+/-1.7 years. The mean duration of diabetes was 5+/-4.7 years, ranging from 0.5 to 15 years. The mean levels of HbA1c were 10.3+/-2.5% in the patient group. The serum levels of CML were measured using a monoclonal anti-CML antibody in a fluoremetric immunoassay. Serum protein levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) were assayed using a polyclonal antibody from rabbit immunized with AGE-RNase (pAGE). RESULTS: The serum levels of CML and pAGE were significantly increased in the patient group versus the control group: 1.08 (0.45-2.97) U/ml CML (median 10-90 percentiles) vs. 0.70 (0.36-1.79) U/ml CML, P < 0.03, and 6.6 (5.1-9.9) U/ml pAGE vs. 5.5 (3.7-8.2) U/ml AGEs, P < 0.01. A significant relationship between CML and pAGE was found in the IDDM group, r = 0.76, P < 0.001. The CML levels were not associated with the HbAlc levels (n = 23, r = -0.02, NS), cholesterol levels (n = 21, r = 0.07, NS), age, sex, or diabetes duration. CONCLUSIONS: Serum levels of CML are increased in patients with type 1 diabetes. This increase precedes the development of micro- and macrovascular complications.

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