Clonally restricted insulin autoantibodies in a cohort of 2200 healthy blood donors

J. C. Sodoyez, F. Sodoyez-Goffaux, M. Koch, D. Sondag, C. Bouillenne, C. François-Gérard, E. Bosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Serum samples of 2200 blood donors were screened for anti-insulin IgG by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Specificity of detected antibodies was verified by competition with an excess of insulin and observation that saturated anti-insulin IgG were no longer measurable. The upper limit of measured signal in the population was defined as the mean plus three SD. In the direct assay, 32 sera were positive. Among these, 22 (1%) contained saturable insulin antibodies (true positive) and 10 were non-saturable and considered as non-insulin-specific. The positive blood donors were requested to answer a questionnaire and according to their answers, none had ever received insulin, was a first degree relative of a Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patient or had experienced a hypoglycaemic episode. None of the 22 true positive sera detected by enzyme-immunosorbent assay bound 125-I-insulin to any significant extent. The nine sera yielding the highest signal were further characterized with regard to heavy and light chains as well as species specificity of ligand. Anti-insulin IgG from healthy blood donors contained only one heavy (γ1 2/9; γ3 7/9) and one light (κ 8/9; λ 1/9) chain. Three sera were human insulin specific; two were non-species-specific; the other four bound insulin in the order human = porcine > bovine. These results indicate that low affinity clonally restricted antibodies against insulin are present in unselected blood donors with a prevalence of 1%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-725
Number of pages7
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1990


  • affinity
  • blood donors
  • IgG isotype
  • Insulin autoantibodies
  • light chain
  • species specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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