OBJECTIVE: Type 1 diabetes is more prevalent in Europeans than it is in Asians. The disease is associated with autoantibodies to GAD65 and a protein tyrosine phosphatase-like molecule (IA-2). The frequency of GAD antibodies in Asian patients with type 1 diabetes may be lower than that in Europeans. No data are available on IA-2 antibodies in Asians. We tested antibodies to GAD65 and IA-2ic (the intracellular fragment containing the antibody epitope) in Filipino diabetic patients because this population has mixed European and aboriginal racial origins. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study of antibodies to GAD65 and IA-2ic was performed on a consecutive series of 91 type 1 diabetic patients, 74 type 2 diabetic patients, and 100 control subjects attending a diabetes clinic in Manila, the Republic of the Philippines. All subjects were <40 years of age, with a mean age +/- SD of 24.8+/-9.8, 34.3+/-5.8, and 25.8+/-8.0 years, respectively. Diagnosis of type 1 diabetes was determined clinically and confirmed by baseline C-peptide. RESULTS: Of 91 type 1 diabetic patients, antibodies to GAD65 were detected in 25 (27.4%), but antibodies to IA-2ic were found in only 8 (8.8%) (P = 0.002); neither autoantibody was detected in either the type 2 diabetic or control subjects. Of the 25 recently diagnosed type 1 diabetic patients (disease duration <2.0 years), autoantibodies to GAD65 were detected in 14 (56%), but those to IA-2ic in only 4 (16%) (P = 0.007); GAD65 antibodies were detected in only 4 (6%) of 66 patients with a longer disease duration (P = 0.0004). Comparison with recently diagnosed European type 1 diabetic patients of age and disease duration similar to that of the Filipinos indicated that IA-2ic antibodies, unlike GAD antibodies, were significantly less prevalent in Filipino type 1 diabetic patients (P = 0.0007). CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study investigating the prevalence and pattern of humoral immune response in type 1 diabetic patients from the Philippines. Antibodies to IA-2ic, unlike GAD antibodies, were infrequent. Patterns of immune responses to type 1 diabetes-associated antigens may differ worldwide, with important implications for prediction of the disease and the potential for antigen-specific therapy.

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