In this study, total protein S (PS) immunological levels, free-PS and C4b-binding–protein (C4bBP) concentrations, and PS functional activity were investigated in insulin-dependent (type I) diabetic patients and compared with nondiabetic subjects. Mean total PS antigen concentration was not different between diabetic patients and nondiabetic subjects, whereas free-PS levels and PS functional activity were significantly reduced in diabetic patients. C4bBP was increased in diabetic patients and correlated with HbA1 levels. This study shows that type I diabetic patients have depressed free PS and PS activity despite the presence of normal total PS concentration and suggests that this phenomenon is probably linked to the increase of circulating C4bBP.

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