Pediatric Diabetes

  ATP4A autoimmunity in pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes and its relationship to blood count, iron metabolism, and vitamin B12
 
Objective We aimed to assess the prevalence of autoantibodies against the 4A subunit of the gastric proton pump (ATP4A) in pediatric type 1 diabetes (T1D) patients and explore the relationship between ATP4A positivity and blood cell count, iron turnover, and vitamin B12 concentration. Subjects The study included 94 (59% female) T1D children (aged 12.5?±?4.1?years, T1D duration 4.2?±?3.6?years, HbA1c 7.3?±?1.5% (57?±?12.6?mmol/mol) with no other autoimmune diseases. Methods ATP4A antibodies were measured in T1D patients using a radioimmunoprecipitation assay. Blood cell count, iron concentration, total iron binding capacity, ferritin, transferrin, hepcidin, and vitamin B12 concentration were measured in all the study participants. Results A total of 16 (17%) children were ATP4A positive. Serum concentrations of ferritin were significantly lower in ATP4A positive than in antibody negative subjects (P?=?.034). Overall the levels of ATP4A antibodies (ATP4A Index) correlated positively with the age at T1D diagnosis (r?=?0.228, P?=?.026) and negatively with ferritin levels (r?=??0.215, P?=?.037). In ATP4A positive patients, the ATP4A Index correlated positively with age at diagnosis (r?=?0.544, P?=?.032) and negatively with vitamin B12 levels (r?=??0.685, P?=?.004). Conclusions ATP4A antibodies were present in a significant proportion of children with T1D. Higher ATP4A levels in T1D children are associated with lower, yet still fitting within the normal range, levels of vitamin B12, and ferritin. Routine screening of T1D children for gastric autoimmunity (ATP4A) should be considered with follow-up of those positive for vitamin B12 and iron deficiency.