We previously showed that purified human IgG1 insulin autoantibody (IAA) from the serum of male patient T.H. with insulin autoimmune syndrome is directed at a determinant at the asparagine site on the human insulin B chain. An anti-idiotypic antibody (anti-TH) that inhibited TH-IAA binding to human insulin was obtained by immunizing BALB/c mice with TH-IAA. Anti-TH bound to viable IM-9 cells and the purified insulin receptor from IM-9 cells. Anti-TH binding to IM-9 cells and the insulin receptor was inhibited by TH-IAA but not by human IgG. Moreover, incubation of HepG2 cells with anti-TH had an inhibitory effect on insulin binding to HepG2 cells. Anti-TH, like insulin, stimulated amino acid uptake in HepG2 cells. These findings indicate that the conformation of TH-IAA idiotope is a mirror image of the determinant on the insulin B chain, the binding site for TH-IAA on anti-TH is also related to the insulin binding site on the insulin receptor, and anti-TH mimics insulin action on the insulin receptor.

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