The aim of this study was to investigate the amounts and epitope specificity of antibodies against heat shock protein 60 (hsp60) in the sera of type 1 diabetic and healthy children. Antibodies specific for peptide p277 of human hsp60 and of M. bovis as well as for human hsp60, M. bovis hsp65 proteins were measured by ELISA. Other autoantibodies (islet cell antibodies, glutamate decarboxylase antibodies and IA-2 antibodies) were also determined. A total number of 83 serum samples from children with type 1 diabetes mellitus and 81 samples of control children were investigated. Epitope scanning of the hsp60 for linear antibody epitopes was carried out using synthetic peptides attached to pins. The antibody levels specific for peptide p277 of human- and of M. bovis origin were significantly (human: P = 0.0002, M. bovis: P = 0.0044) higher in the diabetic children group than in the healthy children. We could not find significant difference in the antibody levels to whole, recombinant hsp proteins among the examined groups of children. Antibodies to two epitope regions on hsp60 (AA394-413 and AA435-454) were detected in high titres in sera of children with diabetes mellitus. The first region similar to the sequence found in glutamate decarboxylase, whereas the second one overlaps with p277 epitope to a large extent. Presence of antibodies to certain epitopes of hsp60 (AA394-413 - glutamic acid decarboxylase-like epitope; AA435-454 - p277-like epitope) in diabetic children may reflect their possible role in the autoimmune diabetogenic process of the early diabetes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy