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Scientists Finally Know What Causes Celiac Disease!

Celiac.com 08/19/2015 - For the first time since it was described and named by 1st century Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia, first linked to wheat in the 1940's, and specifically linked to gluten in 1952, scientists have discovered the cause of celiac disease.

Photo: CC--Ryan HydeProfessor Ludvig Sollid, and his team at the Centre for Immune Regulation at University of Oslo, have discovered that people with celiac disease suffer from one of two defective human leukocyte antigens (HLAs), which cause the immune system to see gluten molecules as dangerous, triggering the immune response that causes classic celiac-associated inflammation and other symptoms.

To be true, the team was not working in the dark. They were armed with a complete map of the genes, an understanding that two types of HLA (HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8) predispose a person for celiac disease, and the very crucial recent discovery by a team of German colleagues that celiac patients have antibodies for a very precise enzyme: transglutaminase 2.

"We also found that the bits of gluten that were presented to the T-cells have some changes caused by an enzyme in the body – transglutaminase 2", says Sollid. HLAs are proteins which act as markers, binding to fragments of other proteins, and telling T-cells how to treat them.

So it wasn't much of a stretch for Professor Sollid's team to determine that the defective HLAs bind to fragments of gluten, causing the T-cells to treat them as bacteria or viruses.

Basically, two HLA types present gluten remnants to the T-cells, causing the T-cells to regard the gluten as dangerous, and to trigger immune reactions that cause inflammation in the intestines, and this is what causes celiac disease.

"We think that this is huge," Sollid said. "We understand the immune cells that are activated and why they are activated."

At present, Professor Sollid and his group are investigating how antibodies against transglutaminase are formed.

This is a simple, but huge moment in the annals of medicine and in the annals of celiac disease. It's a discovery that will help researchers develop new approaches to treatment, and/or a cure for celiac disease in the future.

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20 Responses:

 
Mary
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
19 Aug 2015 9:47:59 AM PST
This is amazing news. I hope it leads to a cure!

 
Ed Arnold
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said this on
19 Aug 2015 6:05:52 PM PST
Gluten destroyed my health. I don't have HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8. So for many of us with a gluten problem, this explanation is not helpful.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
20 Aug 2015 1:25:26 PM PST
If you don't have either genetic marker you don't have celiac disease...which is what this article is about.

 
Kim
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said this on
24 Aug 2015 9:01:14 AM PST
Those are only the 'known' markers so far. Science does not yet know it all.

This may help some people and may not help others. It may also help some people that are not listed because testing abilities are still so underdeveloped. Time will tell.

They may also just be trying to come up with another big sell item for big pharma that turns out to be more toxic than just avoiding gluten altogether... as with so many current meds on the market.

 
rob
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said this on
24 Aug 2015 11:11:28 PM PST
This website is called celiac.com - why comment if you are not celiac?

..and it is very good news they have identified the cause. Another step forward.

 
Anne
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said this on
24 Aug 2015 6:32:57 AM PST
There is a small percentage of those with CD who have neither DQ2 nor 8. Search for HLA negative celiac disease to find the articles.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
25 Aug 2015 10:43:30 AM PST
From questdiagnostics.com: "Negative results for both HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 virtually exclude the diagnosis of CD..." I am aware of research that shows that it is still a very slight possibility (Karell K, Louka AS, Moodie SJ, et al. HLA types in celiac disease patients not carrying the DQA1*05–DQB1*02 (DQ2) heterodimer: results from the European Genetics Cluster on Celiac Disease. Hum Immunol. 2003;64:469-477.) but this research is focused on what triggers CD in the vast majority of cases.

 
Jeff
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said this on
24 Dec 2015 8:56:15 AM PST
I have heard this I thought from Dr. Fasano but I am not sure it was from him.
At any rate, there is a very valid issue with feeling excluded, which is to say, if you have celiac, you have what 99% of other people do not have. If you do not have either HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8 AND are celiac, you are even MORE of an "odd bird." The idea that physicians are able to find this out on their own initiative also is a lot like in my long experience thinking that pigs can fly. So I agree with Anne here.

 
Mary Thorpe
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said this on
24 Aug 2015 10:57:41 AM PST
Guess I'll have to read the article. I don't see anything new reported in this article.

 
Jefferson
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
01 Sep 2015 11:58:09 AM PST
What't new is the fact that scientists have finally connected the dots between the DQ2/DQ8 markers and the actual mechanics of gut damage from celiac disease. That's huge, and potentially of great benefit to researchers looking for treatments and cures, and thus, to people with celiac disease.

 
Christy
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said this on
24 Aug 2015 2:09:17 PM PST
There have been people who tested positive for celiac through endoscopy and biopsy (gold standard test) and tested negative for both HAD-DQ2 and 8. The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center talked about this a couple of years ago. They are aware that there are other causes that have not yet been identified.

 
William
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said this on
25 Aug 2015 5:34:43 AM PST
This is old news. It has been known for some time that HLA DQ2/DQ8 are the precursors for the disease. So, what's new?

 
BareFood George
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said this on
25 Aug 2015 11:25:34 AM PST
"...Professor Sollid and his group are investigating how antibodies against transglutaminase are formed..." Hello , overdose maybe of gluten from fortified pastries and thousands of high - gluten products that made the body to handle them as toxic substance!

 
Darlene S C
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said this on
25 Aug 2015 5:53:57 PM PST
Not exactly the whole story - why they keep missing this is beyond me
Celiac disease existed way back when - yes , but it was extremely rare ( One in 4000)
Reason it was linked to wheat in the late 1940s and then to gluten in the 1950s was because Norman Borlaug bioengineered modern wheat (a Tribred- 3 different plants ) right after World War II . His new wheat was pest & disease-resistant shorter stock larger bud higher-yield per acre. The seed started being used soon after that, & in increasing numbers of cases for celiac started popping up in the 1950s. The Side effect of Borlaug's new modern wheat was the gluten was different - more gluten in the grain perhaps ? - but was different than the gluten in the heirloom wheats.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
27 Aug 2015 6:57:40 PM PST
This is a common myth that I've seen repeated in several forms, but it has no scientific validity.

 
Sandra
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said this on
28 Aug 2015 8:45:55 AM PST
I believe genetically engineered products have changed us and there is no scientific evidence because it hasn't been long enough to study or no one really is studying it!

 
Jefferson
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated ( Author)
said this on
01 Sep 2015 11:59:28 AM PST
So your belief is based on nothing but your imagination?

 
Ida
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said this on
22 Dec 2015 9:23:49 PM PST
Certainly not helpful in the long run for people suffering from this terrible disease right now. Cancer isn't curable but there are meds to help people. Why is it taking so long to find or release drugs for trial more widely in the states than is or should be done. A diet is not the answer.

 
Michael
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said this on
04 Jan 2016 11:49:19 AM PST
It is supremely ignorant to call our genes "defective HLAs". These genes are much older than the defective practice of eating grains or hybridizing wild grasses to create the first form of wheat. Certain gliadin peptides are not digestible by any human's enzymes and some cause temporary intestinal permeability in all, according to Alessio Fasano's research.

Despite the addiction to gluteomorphins and the worship of wheat and the resulting irritation and madness fueling endless war in the Mideast by all 3 religions originating there, where the creation of wheat occurred, and the knowledge that high antibodies to gliadin in a pregnant mother results in higher probability for schizophrenia in adulthood for her child, as well as depression and the likelihood that this young adult will be put on an SSRI drug and become a mass shooter, the brainwashing, ignorance proliferated by medical school deans refusing to teach the dangers of gluten to central nervous systems, and the fact that the majority of Caucasians have an HLA gene that predisposes them to have an autoimmune attack if their brain induced by gluten they have the audacity to call wheat, barley and rye "safe food" and declare us defective. This is a genocidal mindset by Nazi inspired capitalists.

 
Saad Malik
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said this on
27 Oct 2016 10:07:34 PM PST
VERY NICE this helped very much for my project. All the other sites are way to complicated.




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