Celiac Abstracts 3

© 2010

Natural history of celiac disease autoimmunity in a USA cohort followed since 1974

            (Catassi, Kryszak et al. 2010) Download

Abstract Background. The natural history and the possible changes of celiac disease (CD) prevalence over time are still unclear. Objectives. 1) To establish whether loss of tolerance to gluten may occur at any age; 2) to investigate possible changes of CD prevalence over time; and 3) to investigate CD-related co-morbidities. Methods. We analyzed 3,511 subjects with matched samples from 1974 (CLUE I) and 1989 (CLUE II). To avoid a selection bias regarding survival, we also screened 840 CLUE I participants who deceased after the 1974 survey. Outcome measure. CD autoimmunity (positivity to auto-antibodies) over time. Results. CD autoimmunity was detected in seven subjects in 1974 (prevalence 1:501) and in an additional nine subjects in 1989 (prevalence 1:219). Two cases of CD autoimmunity were found among the 840 subjects deceased after CLUE I. Compared to controls, untreated CD subjects showed increased incidence of osteoporosis and associated autoimmune disorders, but they did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions. During a 15-year period CD prevalence increased 2-fold in the CLUE cohort and 5-fold overall in the US since 1974. The CLUE study demonstrated that this increase was due to an increasing number of subjects that lost the immunological tolerance to gluten in their adulthood.

Celiac disease and autoimmune thyroid disease

            (Ch'ng, Jones et al. 2007) Download

Celiac disease (CD) or gluten sensitive enteropathy is relatively common in western populations with prevalence around 1%. With the recent availability of sensitive and specific serological testing, many patients who are either asymptomatic or have subtle symptoms can be shown to have CD. Patients with CD have modest increases in risks of malignancy and mortality compared to controls. The mortality among CD patients who comply poorly with a gluten-free diet is greater than in compliant patients. The pattern of presentation of CD has altered over the past three decades. Many cases are now detected in adulthood during investigation of problems as diverse as anemia, osteoporosis, autoimmune disorders, unexplained neurological syndromes, infertility and chronic hypertransaminasemia of uncertain cause. Among autoimmune disorders, increased prevalence of CD has been found in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes mellitus, autoimmune liver diseases and inflammatory bowel disease. Prevalence of CD was noted to be 1% to 19% in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, 2% to 5% in autoimmune thyroid disorders and 3% to 7% in primary biliary cirrhosis in prospective studies. Conversely, there is also an increased prevalence of immune based disorders among patients with CD. The pathogenesis of co-existent autoimmune thyroid disease and CD is not known, but these conditions share similar HLA haplotypes and are associated with the gene encoding cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4. Screening high risk patients for CD, such as those with autoimmune diseases, is a reasonable strategy given the increased prevalence. Treatment of CD with a gluten-free diet should reduce the recognized complications of this disease and provide benefits in both general health and perhaps life expectancy. It also improves glycemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and enhances the absorption of medications for associated hypothyroidism and osteoporosis. It probably does not change the natural history of associated autoimmune disorders.

Hereditary fructose intolerance and celiac disease: a novel genetic association

            (Ciacci, Gennarelli et al. 2006) Download

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Celiac disease (CD) has been associated with several genetic disorders, but has not been associated with hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI). METHODS: We identified CD in 4 female patients affected by HFI from among 38 Italian HFI patients. RESULTS: Three of these patients were children in whom the CD-associated signs were hypertransaminasemia, failure to thrive, low weight, and short stature, whereas the adult patient had protracted diarrhea notwithstanding a fructose-free diet. The incidence of CD in our group of HFI patients was higher (>10%) than in the general population (1%-3%) (P<.02). CONCLUSIONS: The possibility of an association between these 2 gastrointestinal disorders is important, particularly in the management of HFI patients with persisting symptoms.

Digestive and nutritional considerations in celiac disease: could supplementation help?

            (Malterre 2009) Download

Due to the increased immune activation in the intestinal tract of people with celiac disease, the digestive and absorptive processes of those affected may be compromised. Individuals with celiac disease are more susceptible to pancreatic insufficiencies, dysbiosis, lactase insufficiencies, and folic acid, vitamin B12, iron, and vitamin D deficiencies, as well as accelerated bone loss due to an increase in inflammatory signaling molecules. Beyond strict maintenance of a gluten-free diet, research has shown benefit with additional nutritional supplementation to assist in regulation of several of these complications.

Comprehensive, quantitative mapping of T cell epitopes in gluten in celiac disease

            (Tye-Din, Stewart et al. 2010) Download

Celiac disease is a genetic condition that results in a debilitating immune reaction in the gut to antigens in grain. The antigenic peptides recognized by the T cells that cause this disease are incompletely defined. Our understanding of the epitopes of pathogenic CD4(+ )T cells is based primarily on responses shown by intestinal T-cells in vitro to hydrolysates or polypeptides of gluten, the causative antigen. A protease-resistant 33-amino acid peptide from wheat alpha-gliadin is the immunodominant antigen, but little is known about the spectrum of T cell epitopes in rye and barley or the hierarchy of immunodominance and consistency of recognition of T-cell epitopes in vivo. We induced polyclonal gluten-specific T cells in the peripheral blood of celiac patients by feeding them cereal and performed a comprehensive, unbiased analysis of responses to all celiac toxic prolamins, a class of plant storage protein. The peptides that stimulated T cells were the same among patients who ate the same cereal, but were different after wheat, barley and rye ingestion. Unexpectedly, a sequence from omega-gliadin (wheat) and C-hordein (barley) but not alpha-gliadin was immunodominant regardless of the grain consumed. Furthermore, T cells specific for just three peptides accounted for the majority of gluten-specific T cells, and their recognition of gluten peptides was highly redundant. Our findings show that pathogenic T cells in celiac disease show limited diversity, and therefore suggest that peptide-based therapeutics for this disease and potentially other strongly HLA-restricted immune diseases should be possible.


Catassi, C., D. Kryszak, et al. (2010). "Natural history of celiac disease autoimmunity in a USA cohort followed since 1974." Ann Med.

Ch'ng, C. L., M. K. Jones, et al. (2007). "Celiac disease and autoimmune thyroid disease." Clin Med Res 5(3): 184-92.

Ciacci, C., D. Gennarelli, et al. (2006). "Hereditary fructose intolerance and celiac disease: a novel genetic association." Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 4(5): 635-8.

Malterre, T. (2009). "Digestive and nutritional considerations in celiac disease: could supplementation help?" Altern Med Rev 14(3): 247-57.

Tye-Din, J. A., J. A. Stewart, et al. (2010). "Comprehensive, quantitative mapping of T cell epitopes in gluten in celiac disease." Sci Transl Med 2(41): 41ra51.