[Celiac disease : Pathogenesis, clinics, epidemiology, diagnostics, therapy]

Detlef Schuppan
Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz 2016, 59 (7): 827-35
Celiac disease is induced by the consumption of gluten containing cereals (wheat, spelt, barley, rye). With a prevalence of ~ 1 %, it is the most common non-infectious chronic inflammatory intestinal disease worldwide. It manifests in all age groups, either classically with abdominal pain, diarrhoea and growth failure or weight loss, more commonly with indirect consequences of malabsorption, such as anaemia and osteoporosis, or with associated autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroiditis or dermatitis herpetiformis. The pathogenesis of celiac disease is well explored. Gluten, the cereal storage protein, is not completely digested and reaches the intestinal mucosa where it activates inflammatory T cells, which cause atrophy of the resorptive villi. This T‑cell activation requires a genetic predisposition (the molecules HLA-DQ2 or -DQ8 on antigen-presenting immune cells). Moreover, the enzyme tissue transglutaminase (TG2) which is released in the mucosa increases the immunogenicity of the gluten peptides by a deamidation reaction. The test for serum antibodies to the autoantigen TG2 is one of the best diagnostic markers in medicine, which in combination with endoscopically obtained biopsies, secures the diagnosis of celiac disease. Despite these tools celiac disease is severely underdiagnosed, with 80-90 % of those affected being undetected. The untreated condition can lead to grave complications. These include the consequences of malabsorption, cancers (especially intestinal T‑cell lymphoma), and likely also the promotion of autoimmune diseases. The therapy of celiac disease, a strict gluten-free diet, is difficult to maintain and not always effective. Alternative, supporting pharmacological therapies are urgently needed and are currently in development.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"