Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Diet Support
Follow / Share
|Get Email Alerts|
- Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients)
- Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients)
- Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages
- Celiac Disease Symptoms
- The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free
- Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results
- Is Buckwheat Flour Really Gluten-Free?
Goblet Cells Emerge as Unexpected Player in Intestinal Immunity
Celiac.com 05/16/2012 - Goblet cells that line the intestine and secrete mucous are emerging as a possible target for treating inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and food allergies.
With every meal, immune cells in the intestine stand guard against harmful bacteria but permit vitamins and nutrients to pass. The small intestine is protected from harmful pathogens by a layer of mucus secreted from goblet cells.
A research team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified the cells that protect the intestine against food antigens, or proteins so that the immune system does not begin an attack.
The discovery of goblet cells in mice shines new light on their role in the lining of the intestine, and gives scientists a potential target for treatments against inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and food allergies.
To accomplish their task, the researchers used a new imaging technique that allows them to observe the inner workings of the intestine in a living mouse in real time. For their study, they fed marked sugar to mice and observed antigens as they were passed by goblet cells to dendritic cells.
Miller and Newberry also studied healthy human intestinal tissue from patients undergoing weight-loss surgery. Those results showed that goblet cells perform the same function in people as in mice. This indicates that the cells may be solid drug targets for treating inflammatory bowel disease and other intestinal problems.
After studying normal, healthy mice, the researchers are now using the same imaging technique to look at how goblet cells and dendritic cells might function differently when inflammation or infection occurs.
They also plan to study mucus-producing goblet cells in other tissues, such as the lung, to assess whether they are working the same way elsewhere in the body.
Miller says the results are important because they help scientists understand that intestinal immune responses may depend as much on the ability of goblet cells to transport antigens to dendritic cells as on what the dendritic cells then do with those antigens.
Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).
Mortality Rates for Celiacs with Persistent Villous Atrophy Similar to Those with Healthy Guts
Villous atrophy (VA) in the small intestine is one of the prime features of celiac disease, and has been associated with increased mortality, but it is unknown if mortality is influenced by mucosal recovery.... [READ MORE]
Can Bacteria Help Researchers Better Diagnose Celiac Disease?
Currently, doctors diagnose celiac disease with blood tests that screen for two antibodies, one that targets gluten and another that goes after an intestinal protein.... [READ MORE]
Early Infections Tied to Higher Celiac Disease Rates
Sweden has seen a sharp rise in cases of celiac disease in children under two years of age.... [READ MORE]
Celiac Disease: Antibody Response and Mucosal Change in the Small-bowel After Gluten Exposure
Eating gluten-free for an entire lifetime is no easy task.... [READ MORE]
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams