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The Cause of Liver Damage in People with Celiac Disease by Roy Jamron
Roy S. Jamron holds a B.S. in Physics from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in Engineering Applied Science from the University of California at Davis, and independently investigates the latest research on celiac disease and related disorders.View all articles by Roy Jamron
Celiac.com 05/31/2006 - I previously discussed how liver abnormalities are highly prevalent in celiac disease. Why damage to the liver occurs is unknown, and gluten toxicity and increased intestinal permeability have been proposed as factors. The following free full text article appearing in the current issue of Gastroenterology may shed light on why liver damage occurs in celiacs.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) reside on the surface of many cells which participate in the immune system. TLRs sense molecules present in pathogens but not the host, and when the immune system senses these molecules, chemicals are released which set off inflammatory and anti-pathogen responses. One class of molecules recognized by TLRs and common to most pathogenic bacteria is lipopolysaccharides (LPS).
Gluten increases intestinal permeability in celiacs. The disruption of the intestinal barrier permits endotoxins, such as LPS, from gut bacteria to reach the portal vein of the liver triggering a TLR response from immune cells in the liver. Proinflammatory mediators are released cascading into the release of more chemicals leading to inflammation and liver damage. This may be the cause of liver damage in celiacs. Gluten itself could also trigger a liver immune response. Kupffer cells in the liver are capable of antigen presentation to T cells, along with liver dendritic cells, and could initiate a T cell response to gluten within the liver.
The following article is somewhat technical, but discusses the role of various liver cells involved in the immune process and how intestinal permeability and TLRs contribute to liver injury. The article is a good read and provides valuable information about the liver I have not seen elsewhere.
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Prevalence and Causes of Abnormal Liver Function in Patients with Celiac Disease
Many people with celiac disease show slightly elevated liver enzymes, though these enzyme levels usually return to normal after gluten-free diet.... [READ MORE]
Celiac Disease Five Times More Common in People with Severe Autoimmune Liver Disease
A team of researchers recently set out to examine the connection between celiac disease and primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis and autoimmune hepatitis.... [READ MORE]
Liver Damage, Celiac Disease and the Intestinal Mucosa by Roy Jamron
Liver abnormalities have
been found in a high percentage of celiacs when first diagnosed, around
42% according to some studies.... [READ MORE]
Liver Disease: Untreated Celiac Disease May Cause Liver Failure
2002;122:881-888.... [READ MORE]