HealthDay News — Transcription factor 7 like 2 (TCF7L2) genetic variants contribute to phenotypic heterogeneity of type 1 diabetes, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

Maria J. Redondo, MD, PhD, from Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, and colleagues investigated the relationship between type 2 diabetes-associated TCF7L2 single nucleotide polymorphisms and immunologic and metabolic characteristics at type 1 diabetes diagnosis among 810 patients with newly diagnosed autoimmune type 1 diabetes (median age, 13.6 years).

The researchers found that the rs4506565 variant was a significant independent factor for expressing a single autoantibody at diagnosis, instead of multiple autoantibodies (odds ratio [OR], 1.66; P =.024).

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This association was only significant in participants ≥12 years old (OR, 2.12; P =.003) compared to younger ones (P =.73). There was a significant association between the rs4506565 variant and both higher C-peptide area under the curve (P =.008) and lower mean glucose area under the curve (P =.0127). Similar results were seen for the rs7901695 variant.

“Carriers of the TCF7L2 variant had a milder immunological and metabolic phenotype at type 1 diabetes diagnosis, which could be partly driven by type 2 diabetes-like pathogenic mechanisms,” the authors write.

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Redondo MJ, Geyer S, Steck AK, et al. TCF7L2 genetic variants contribute to phenotypic heterogeneity of type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2018;41:311-317.