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AbstractAims  The Type 1 diabetes susceptibility locus, IDDM2, has been mapped to a variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) region 5′ upstream of the insulin (INS) and insulin‐like growth factor (IGF2) genes on chromosome 11p15. The function of the VNTR is uncertain; however, it may influence the thymic expression of the insulin gene and affect the development of immune self‐tolerance. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the INS VNTR region is a Type 1 diabetes‐specific locus or acting as a general autoimmunity gene.Methods  We genotyped the INS‐IGF2 VNTR [using the surrogate INS−23 HphI single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)] in 823 Graves’ disease (GD)/multiple sclerosis (MS) families, 1433 GD/MS patients and 837 healthy control subjects.Results  We found no evidence of excess transmission of the allele associated with Type 1 diabetes to individuals affected by GD or MS within the families. Analysis of the case–control dataset showed no genotypic or allelic difference between the two populations.Conclusions  These data suggest that the INS‐IGF2 VNTR is acting as a Type 1 diabetes‐specific susceptibility gene rather than as an influence on general autoimmunity.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetic Medicine



Publication Date





267 - 270