Autoantibodies (autoAB) against the insulin receptor (IR) are known to cause a rare form of diabetes, i.e. insulin resistance type B. AutoAB against the structurally and functionally related receptor for insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1R) have only recently been described and are implicated in autoimmune diseases. However, the prevalence and clinical importance of these autoAB are not yet fully understood as respective sensitive and non-radioactive test systems for routine use were missing. A reliable assay system for the detection and quantification of these autoAB should be met with highest interest by basic researchers and clinicians alike, especially in the fields of diabetes, growth and cancer research, given the central importance of the insulin and IGF1 hormone axes for controlling growth, glucose metabolism and cell proliferation in humans.<br><br> <strong>Technology</strong><br> Two novel non-radioactive and highly sensitive immunoassays for detection and quantification of autoAB against the IR and IGF1R have been developed. For reasons of sensitivity, specificity and automation, the bridge technology has been chosen as most suitable assay format (see scheme). Using these novel in vitro diagnostica, autoAB against the IR and the IGF1R are detected with an astonishing 10% prevalence in the adult population. Notably, a high proportion of cross-reacting autoAB are found, reacting with similar strength to both the IR and IGF1R. The clinical and diagnostic importance of these results remains to be established in ongoing studies.<br><br>
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