Qualitative and quantitative studies of autoantibodies to phospholipids in diabetes mellitus

Patrizia Gargiulo, J. Goldberg, B. Romani, R. Schiaffini, P. Ciampalini, W. P. Faulk, J. A. McIntyre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diabetes mellitus is associated with vascular and neurological complications. We have investigated the presence of antibodies to phospholipids and to phospholipid binding plasma proteins in blood samples collected from 68 clinically and biochemically characterized type I and type II diabetic patients and from 252 healthy blood donor controls. Each sample was analysed for antibodies to three phospholipids (cardiolipin, phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylethanolamine), the antibody isotypes (IgA, IgG and IgM), and whether antibody activity was plasma protein-dependent. Patients were considered to have anti-phospholipid antibodies when one or more of these 18 tests was found above predetermined control values. The results of these experiments revealed an increased incidence of anti- phospholipid antibodies in diabetic patients compared with control subjects. The incidence of IgA isotype to phosphatidylethanolamine was higher than the incidence of other isotypes to other phospholipids, and their reactivities were independent of phospholipid-associated proteins. In addition, these antibody findings were studied for associations with prothrombin degradation products, activated factor VII and activated protein C, and with the incidence of diabetic complications. The anti-phosphatidylethanolamine antibody association with proliferative retinopathy was significant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-34
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Anti-phospholipid antibodies
  • Diabetic complications
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Haemostasis
  • Phosphatidylethanolamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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