Celiac.com 06/01/2010 - A clinical research team recently examined the increased expression of hypoxia inducible factor 1alpha in celiac disease. The team included A. Vannay, E. Sziksz, A. Prókai, G. Veres, K. Molnár, D. Nagy Szakál, A. Onódy, I. R. Korponay-Szabó, A. Szabó, T. Tulassay, A. Arató, and B. Szebeni.

They are affiliated with the First Department of Pediatrics at Semmelweis University, and with the Department of Gastroenterology-Nephrology of Heim Pal Children's Hospital, both in Budapest, Hungary. They are also involved with the Research Group for Pediatrics and Nephrology, a joint project between the two institutions.

The team set out to follow-up on the hypothesis that hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) 1 signaling may play a key role in maintaining the barrier function of the intestinal epithelium in cases of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

In their 2008 article, "The human side of hypoxia-inducible factor," which appeared in the British Journal of Haematology, Smith, Robbins and Ratcliffe define Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) as transcription factors that respond to changes in available oxygen in the cellular environment, specifically, to decreases in oxygen, or hypoxia.

The team wanted to characterize the variation of HIF-1alpha and related genes in celiac disease, where the importance of the barrier function is well understood.

To accomplish their goal, they gathered