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  • Scott Adams

    Cytokines Can Tell Celiac Disease from Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and Healthy Subjects

    Scott Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Cytokines can differentiate between celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and healthy people.


    Image: CC BY-SA 2.0--kohlmann.sascha
    Caption: Image: CC BY-SA 2.0--kohlmann.sascha

    08/03/2020 - New research shows that cytokines, particularly IL-8 and IL-15, could be used as markers to distinguish celiac disease from non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and healthy people. Researchers have noted that levels of some inflammatory cytokines rise in people with celiac disease and NCGS, in contrast with healthy subjects.  A team of researchers recently set out to create an accurate tool for using cytokines to distinguish healthy patients from those with celiac disease and NCGS.

    The research team included Fatemeh Masaebi, Mehdi Azizmohammad Looha, Mohammad Rostami-Nejad, Mohamad Amin Pourhoseingholi, Navid Mohseni, Gabriel Samasca, Iulia Lupan, Mostafa Rezaei-Tavirani, and Mohammad Reza Zali. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Paramedical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; the Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases Research Center, Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; the Department of Immunology, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca, Romania; the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, BabesBolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; and the Proteomics Research Center, Faculty of Paramedical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



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    The team assessed serum samples from 171 participants, including 110 celiac patients, 46 healthy subjects, and 15 with NCGS. They used commercial ELISA kits to detect levels for cytokines IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, IL-15, and IFN-γ. 

    They applied the ROC curve analysis to establish the best levels for high sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of cytokines, as the indicators of celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and healthy controls. In the NCGS group, the AUC values for IL-1, IL-8, and IFN-γ were 71%, 78% and 70%, respectively. 

    IL-15 distinguished the celiac and NCGS groups from control group nearly 83% of the time, the highest overall. Additionally, IL-15 showed nearly 57% specificity, 82% positive predictive value, and 58% negative predictive value. 

    IL-8 had nearly 75% sensitivity, the highest overall, with nearly 74% specificity, nearly 96% positive predictive value, and just over 30% negative predictive value.

    The team's results show that IL-8 and IL-15 could potentially act as markers for distinguishing celiac disease from the NCGS and healthy controls. 

    The team suggests that the assessment of cytokine levels can be a useful tool for diagnosing celiac disease and NCGS and spotting the difference between the two conditions and healthy control subjects.

    Read more at: Iran Biomed J. 2020 Jun 1

    Edited by Scott Adams

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    14 hours ago, Clhaddon said:

    aren’t cytokine levels markers of inflammation?  How does this contribute to identification of celiac disease?  

    "In the NCGS group, the AUC values for IL-1, IL-8, and IFN-γ were 71%, 78% and 70%, respectively. 

    IL-15 distinguished the celiac and NCGS groups from control group 

    The team's results show that IL-8 and IL-15 could potentially act as markers for distinguishing celiac disease from the NCGS and healthy controls. "

    Reading this part for IMHO is looking at the subclass of cytokines levels and immunological reaction s. They are inflammatory markers, but they interpret the data and levels and which markers.

    To me IL-1 as found in their NCGS data, points to the innate branch of immune system vs the adaptive.

    We may see the researchers perhaps will be looking to see is NCGS the innate immune response to gluten where as celiac has distinct antibody response found in the  adaptive immune branch. 

    If this research confirms identity of celiac by il-8 and il-15 . This info  can advance research for celiac and the adaptive immune branch . Also if il-1  cytokine subclass is responsible for NCGS the researchers can learn more about the innate immune branch and NCGS 

    Interesting to me as my cousin is a gold standard celiac and I am currently a NCGS.

    Let's see what they find moving forward.

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  • About Me

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.


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