Relationship between urinary neopterin excretion and islet cell antibodies in type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes

R. Manna, M. Salvatore, M. A S Di Leo, F. Scuderi, A. V. Greco, G. Ghirlanda, G. Gambassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neopterin is specifically produced by interferon-activated macrophages, and it may be considered a marker of cellular immunity. In 40 newly diagnosed and 38 longer standing type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetics the relationship between urinary neopterin levels and islet cell antibodies (ICA) was investigated. Raised urinary neopterin levels were found in 30 ICA positive (mean ± SD: 729.8±602.1μmol/mol creatinine, p=0.0001) and 10 ICA negative (433.4±191.2μmol/mol creatinine, p=0.0005) diabetics at onset of disease compared with age-matched control subjects (118.1±33.2μmol/mol creatinine). No significant difference in urinary neopterin levels was observed between diabetic groups. After the first stages of disease (>5 months from onset), a significant difference (p=0.0002) in urinary neopterin excretion was found between longer standing ICA positive patients and controls, but not between ICA negative diabetics and controls. In longer standing diabetics, neopterin levels were significantly higher in ICA positive patients than in ICA negative patients (544.6±341.3 versus 201.7±180μmol/mol creatinine, p=0.0002). No correlation between newly diagnosed or longer standing patients and HbA(1c) levels was found. Our results suggest that increased neopterin excretion in type 1 diabetes seems to be a sensitive indicator for the activation of cell-mediated immunity even when ICA are undetectable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-36
Number of pages4
JournalDiabetes Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • Autoimmunity
  • Islet cell antibodies
  • Metabolic control
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Urinary neopterin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine


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