Research ArticleIMMUNOLOGY

Cytokine release and gastrointestinal symptoms after gluten challenge in celiac disease

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Science Advances  07 Aug 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 8, eaaw7756
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw7756


Celiac disease (CeD), caused by immune reactions to cereal gluten, is treated with gluten -elimination diets. Within hours of gluten exposure, either perorally or extraorally by intradermal injection, treated patients experience gastrointestinal symptoms. To test whether gluten exposure leads to systemic cytokine production time -related to symptoms, series of multiplex cytokine measurements were obtained in CeD patients after gluten challenge. Peptide injection elevated at least 15 plasma cytokines, with IL-2, IL-8, and IL-10 being most prominent (fold-change increase at 4 hours of 272, 11, and 1.2, respectively). IL-2 and IL-8 were the only cytokines elevated at 2 hours, preceding onset of symptoms. After gluten ingestion, IL-2 was the earliest and most prominent cytokine (15-fold change at 4 hours). Supported by studies of patient-derived gluten-specific T cell clones and primary lymphocytes, our observations indicate that gluten-specific CD4+ T cells are rapidly reactivated by antigen -exposure likely causing CeD-associated gastrointestinal symptoms.

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