Celiac.com 10/28/2009 - Celiac disease is a T cell-mediated autoimmune disease, and a number of clinicians have described up-regulation of T-bet and phosphorylated signal transducers and activators of transcription (pSTAT)1, both of which are key transcription factors for the development of T helper type 1 (Th1) cells, in the mucosa of patients with untreated celiac disease.

A team of researchers recently used transcription factor analysis to examine whether celiac patients up-regulate T-bet and pSTAT1 expressions in peripheral blood
and whether such up-regulation may be associated with celiac disease activity.

The research team was made up of G. Frisullo, V. Nociti, R. Iorio, A. K. Patanella, D. Plantone, A. Bianco, A. Marti, G. Cammarota, P. A.  Tonali, and A. P. Batocchi of the Department of Neurosciences at the Catholic University in Rome, Italy.

The team used flow cytometry to analyze T-bet, pSTAT1 and pSTAT3 expression in CD4(+), CD8(+) T cells, CD19(+) B cells and monocytes from peripheral blood of 15 untreated and 15 treated celiac disease patients and 30 controls, and longitudinally in five celiac patients before and after dietary treatment.

The team measured the results using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), interferon (FN)-gamma, interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-10 production by peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures.

Patients with untreated celiac disease showed higher T-bet expression in CD4(+), CD8(+) T cells, CD19(+) B cells and monocytes and IFN-gamma production by PBMC, than either treated celiac patients or control subjects.

CD4(+)T cells, B cells and monocytes from untreated celiac patients showed higher pSTAT1 expression than either treated celiac patients or controls. Only in monocytes from untreated patients showed increased pSTAT3 compared with treated celiac patients and controls. Data from longitudinal evaluation of transcription factors corroborated these findings.

Flow cytometric analysis of pSTAT1 and T-bet protein expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells could be useful and sensible markers in the follow-up of CD patients to evaluate disease activity and response to dietary treatment.

Being able to spot celiac disease early is key to achieving optimal outcomes for celiac patients. The development of simple, reliable, low-cost tests is key to that effort. Stay tuned for more developments regarding celiac disease testing, screening and diagnosis.

Source:
Clinical & Experimental Immunology, Volume 158 Issue 1, Pages 106 - 114

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