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Children with Celiac Disease Have Different Genetic Signatures than Adults

Celiac.com 03/02/2016 - A team of researchers recently completed the first extensive study comparing gene expression in children and adults with celiac disease, and found some key differences between the two groups.

Photo: CC--Nicolas BufflerThe research team included V. Pascual, L. M. Medrano , N. López-Palacios, A. Bodas, B. Dema, M. Fernández-Arquero, B. González-Pérez, I. Salazar, and C. Núñez. They are variously affiliated with Servicio de Pediatría, Servicio de Aparato Digestivo, and Servicio de Inmunología Clínica at the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Hospital Clínico San Carlos (IdISSC), Madrid, Spain, and with the Departamento de Producción Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, and the Departamento de Estadística e Investigación Operativa I, Facultad de Matemáticas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Madrid, Spain.

For their study, the team collected 19 duodenal biopsies of children and adults with celiac disease and compared the expression of 38 selected genes between each other, and in 13 non-celiac disease control subjects matched by age.

The team used a Baysian methodology to analyze the differences of gene expression between groups. They found that, compared to controls, children and adults with celiac disease all had seven genes with a similarly altered expression. These were C2orf74, CCR6, FASLG, JAK2, IL23A, TAGAP and UBE2L3.

The team found differences in 13 genes, six of which were altered only in adults (IL1RL1, celiac disease28, STAT3, TMEM187, VAMP3 and ZFP36L1) and two only in children (TNFSF18 and ICOSLG); while four genes show a significantly higher alteration in adults (CCR4, IL6, IL18RAP and PLEK) and one in children (C1orf106).

Between the two groups, the team found significant differences in the expression level of several genes, most notably the higher alteration seen in adults.

The team is calling for further research to assess possible genetic influences behind the changes, along with the specific physical consequences of the reported differences.

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