The World Gastroenterology Organization recommends developing national guidelines for the diagnosis of Celiac Disease (CD): hence a profile of the diagnosis of CD in each country is required. We aim to describe a cross-sectional picture of the clinical features and diagnostic facilities in 16 countries of the Mediterranean basin. Since a new ESPGHAN diagnostic protocol was recently published, our secondary aim is to estimate how many cases in the same area could be identified without a small intestinal biopsy.
Celiac Disease (CD) is a polygenic trait, and HLA genes explain less than half of the genetic variation. Through large GWAs more than 40 associated non-HLA genes were identified, but they give a small contribution to the heritability of the disease. The aim of this study is to improve the estimate of the CD risk in siblings, by adding to HLA a small set of non-HLA genes. One-hundred fifty-seven Italian families with a confirmed CD case and at least one other sib and both parents were recruited. Among 249 sibs, 29 developed CD in a 6 year follow-up period. All individuals were typed for HLA and 10 SNPs in non-HLA genes: CCR1/CCR3 (rs6441961), IL12A/SCHIP1 and IL12A (rs17810546 and rs9811792), TAGAP (rs1738074), RGS1 (rs2816316), LPP (rs1464510), OLIG3 (rs2327832), REL (rs842647), IL2/IL21 (rs6822844), SH2B3 (rs3184504). Three associated SNPs (in LPP, REL, and RGS1 genes) were identified through the Transmission Disequilibrium Test and a Bayesian approach was used to assign a score (BS) to each detected HLA+SNPs genotype combination. We then classified CD sibs as at low or at high risk if their BS was respectively < or ? median BS value within each HLA risk group. A larger number (72%) of CD sibs showed a BS ? the median value and had a more than two fold higher OR than CD sibs with a BS value < the median (O.R?=?2.53, p?=?0.047). Our HLA+SNPs genotype classification, showed both a higher predictive negative value (95% vs 91%) and diagnostic sensitivity (79% vs 45%) than the HLA only. In conclusion, the estimate of the CD risk by HLA+SNPs approach, even if not applicable to prevention, could be a precious tool to improve the prediction of the disease in a cohort of first degree relatives, particularly in the low HLA risk groups.
MiRNAs play a relevant role in regulating gene expression in a variety of physiological and pathological conditions including autoimmune disorders. MiRNAs are also important in the differentiation and function of the mouse intestinal epithelium. Our study was aimed to look for miRNA-based modulation of gene expression in celiac small intestine, and particularly for genes involved in cell intestinal differentiation/proliferation mechanisms. A cohort of 40 children (20 with active CD, 9 on a gluten-free diet (GFD), and 11 controls), were recruited at the Paediatrics Department (University of Naples Federico II). The expression of 365 human miRNAs was quantified by TaqMan low-density arrays. We used bioinformatics to predict putative target genes of miRNAs and to select biological pathways. The presence of NOTCH1, HES1, KLF4, MUC-2, Ki67 and beta-catenin proteins in the small intestine of CD and control children was tested by immunohistochemistry. The expression of about 20% of the miRNAs tested differed between CD and control children. We found that high miR-449a levels targeted and reduced both NOTCH1 and KLF4 in HEK-293 cells. NOTCH1, KLF4 signals and the number of goblet cells were lower in small intestine of children with active CD and in those on a GFD than in controls, whereas more nuclear beta-catenin staining, as a sign of the WNT pathway activation, and more Ki67 staining, as sign of proliferation, were present in crypts from CD patients than in controls. In conclusion we first demonstrate a miRNA mediated gene regulation in small intestine of CD patients. We also highlighted a reduced NOTCH1 pathway in our patients, irrespective of whether the disease was active or not. We suggest that NOTCH pathway could be constitutively altered in the celiac small intestine and could drive the increased proliferation and the decreased differentiation of intestinal cells towards the secretory goblet cell lineage.
Potential celiacs have the celiac type HLA, positive anti-transglutaminase antibodies but no damage at small intestinal mucosa. Only a minority of them develops mucosal lesion. More than 40 genes were associated to Celiac Disease (CD) but we still do not know how those pathways transform a genetically predisposed individual into an affected person. The aim of the study is to explore the genetic features of Potential CD individuals.
Epidemiology and candidate gene studies indicate a shared genetic basis for celiac disease (CD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the extent of this sharing has not been systematically explored. Previous studies demonstrate that 6 of the established non-HLA CD and RA risk loci (out of 26 loci for each disease) are shared between both diseases. We hypothesized that there are additional shared risk alleles and that combining genome-wide association study (GWAS) data from each disease would increase power to identify these shared risk alleles. We performed a meta-analysis of two published GWAS on CD (4,533 cases and 10,750 controls) and RA (5,539 cases and 17,231 controls). After genotyping the top associated SNPs in 2,169 CD cases and 2,255 controls, and 2,845 RA cases and 4,944 controls, 8 additional SNPs demonstrated P<5 × 10(-8) in a combined analysis of all 50,266 samples, including four SNPs that have not been previously confirmed in either disease: rs10892279 near the DDX6 gene (P(combined)?=? 1.2 × 10(-12)), rs864537 near CD247 (P(combined)?=? 2.2 × 10(-11)), rs2298428 near UBE2L3 (P(combined)?=? 2.5 × 10(-10)), and rs11203203 near UBASH3A (P(combined)?=? 1.1 × 10(-8)). We also confirmed that 4 gene loci previously established in either CD or RA are associated with the other autoimmune disease at combined P<5 × 10(-8) (SH2B3, 8q24, STAT4, and TRAF1-C5). From the 14 shared gene loci, 7 SNPs showed a genome-wide significant effect on expression of one or more transcripts in the linkage disequilibrium (LD) block around the SNP. These associations implicate antigen presentation and T-cell activation as a shared mechanism of disease pathogenesis and underscore the utility of cross-disease meta-analysis for identification of genetic risk factors with pleiotropic effects between two clinically distinct diseases.
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