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  • Jefferson Adams

    The In Vitro Effects of Enzymatic Digested Gliadin on the Functionality of the Autophagy Process

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Researchers explore the role played by innate immunity to gliadin in the development of celiac disease by assessing the in vitro effects of enzymatic digested gliadin on the functionality of the process of autophagy, or natural cell destruction.


    Image: CC--Pedro Ribeiro Simões
    Caption: Image: CC--Pedro Ribeiro Simões

    Celiac.com 06/26/2018 - Gliadin is an alcohol-soluble wheat protein that is toxic for people with celiac disease. Gliadin toxicity is not lowered by digestion with gastro-pancreatic enzymes. It’s been documented that an innate immunity to gliadin plays a key role in the development of celiac disease. This is mainly due to an immune response that induces epithelial stress and reprograms intraepithelial lymphocytes into natural killer (NK)-like cells, leading to enterocyte apoptosis and an increase in epithelium permeability.

    A team of researchers recently set out to elaborate on the role played by innate immunity to gliadin in the development of celiac disease by assessing the in vitro effects of enzymatic digested gliadin on the functionality of the process of autophagy, or natural cell destruction.



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    The research team included Federico Manai, Alberto Azzalin, Fabio Gabriele, Carolina Martinelli, Martina Morandi, Marco Biggiogera, Mauro Bozzola, and Sergio Comincini. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Biology and Biotechnology, and with the Pediatrics and Adolescentology Unit in the Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics at University of Pavia, Fondazione IRCCS, Pavia, Italy.

    They reported recently that the administration of enzymatically digested gliadin (PT-gliadin) in in Caco-2 cells significantly reduced the expression of the autophagy-related marker LC3-II. Moreover, analysis by electron and fluorescent microscope suggests a compromised functionality of the autophagosome apparatus. 

    The team established the rescue of the dysregulated autophagy process, along with a reduction of PT-gliadin toxicity, by using a starvation induction protocol, and by 3-methyladenine administration. Rapamycin, a well-known autophagy inducer, did not trigger significant improvement in the clearance of extra- and intra-cellular fluorescent PT-gliadin amounts. 

    These results show the potential role of the autophagy process in the degradation and reduction of extra-cellular gliadin peptides, and provides new molecular targets for counteracting adverse gliadin reactions in celiac patients.

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    There are 8 other autophagy reducers. Gliadin is documented as causing the inflammation responsible for many disease processes.  Fibromyalgia is one.  I thought gliadin was only found n wheat, rye & barley only.  Oats contained gliadin.  I read that oats are cross-contaminated by gluten grains shipping containers.  Now celiacs should beware of gliadin in addition to gluten in order to prevent an attack by the enzyme transglutaminase? Thing about it!  This never had to happen if the cross-breeders had simply left the "grains" alone!  

    Such misery & suffering has been caused by messing around with our plants. Why did the scientist not perform "control" studies of the impact of the modern wheat of 2009? Why didn't a chemist point out that YEAST, EGG & MILK were so chemically similar that the body would be unable to distinguish between them & gluten? Recently I have read that farmers, currently, have the 'highest' suicide rate.

    Lives have literally been destroyed at the hands of scientist who should have known better.  Perhaps they too should have taken the hypocritic oath to "Do No Harm"?

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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