Research Article

Low serum C4 concentrations: an inherited predisposition to insulin dependent diabetes?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 19 March 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:926
  1. D Vergani,
  2. C Johnston,
  3. N B-Abdullah,
  4. A H Barnett


    Twenty two out of 86 insulin dependent diabetics had serum C4 concentrations below the normal range. None of 41 non-insulin dependent diabetics tested had low concentrations. Low C4 values were seen in insulin dependent diabetes irrespective of the duration of the disease and did not appear to correlate with complement activation. There was a close correlation in C4 values between identical cotwins, even when only one was diabetic. These results suggest that a low serum C4 concentration is an inherited phenomenon and may predispose towards the development of insulin dependent diabetes.