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Open Access Research article

Antibodies against gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in patients with diabetes mellitus is associated with lower body weight and autonomic neuropathy

Kerstin Berntorp1, Anders Frid1, Ragnar Alm2, Gunilla Nordin Fredrikson23, Klas Sjöberg4 and Bodil Ohlsson5*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Endocrinology, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Experimental Cardiovascular Research Unit, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

3 Faculty of Health and Society, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden

4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Gastroenterology, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

5 Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Internal Medicine, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

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BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:329  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-329

Published: 17 August 2013

Abstract

Background

Esophageal dysmotility and gastroparesis are common secondary complications in patients with diabetes mellitus. Patients with dysmotility express antibodies against gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in serum. The aim of the present study was to scrutinize patients with diabetes mellitus with regard to the presence of GnRH antibodies, and to examine associations between antibodies and clinical findings.

Results

Thirty-nine consecutive patients with diabetes mellitus were included in the study after clinical examination and examination by esophageal manometry and gastric emptying scintigraphy. Serum was analyzed for the presence of antibodies against GnRH using an ELISA, and values are expressed as relative units (RU). Two age- and gender-matched healthy subjects per each patient served as controls. The prevalence of IgM GnRH antibodies in patients was 33% compared to 14% in controls (p = 0.027), with a higher antibody titer; 1.2 (0.6-5.0) and 0.2 (0.1-0.3) RU, respectively (p = 0.000). The expression of IgG antibodies was 15% in patients and none in controls (p = 0.000). Lower body mass index was associated with the presence of IgM antibodies (OR = 0.835, 95% CI = 0.699–0.998), and autonomic neuropathy with the presence IgG antibodies (OR = 9.000, 95% CI = 1.327–61.025). Esophageal dysmotility (69%) or gastroparesis (18%) were not associated with the presence of IgM antibodies (OR = 0.589, 95% CI = 0.143–2.424 and OR = 3.407, 95% CI = 0.633–18.350, respectively). Neither was esophageal dysmotility associated with IgG antibodies (OR = 2.500, 95% CI = 0.259–24.096).

Conclusions

Antibodies against GnRH are more common in patients with diabetes mellitus compared with healthy controls. IgM antibodies are associated with lower body mass index and IgG antibodies are associated with autonomic neuropathy.

Keywords:
Autoantibodies; Diabetes mellitus; Esophageal dysmotility; Gastroparesis; Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH); Secondary complications