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Guest Doll

Celiac And Other Autoimmune Diseases

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Guest Doll

:unsure: I'm kind of confused. It seems like a lot of people on this board seem to think that other autoimmune diseases can be prevented by going gluten-free. Where is the scientific evidence for this? Where did this idea come from?

While it's true that Celiac is related to other autoimmune diseases, isn't it thought to be because of the shared common genetics and "leaky gut" letting in triggers?

Why is it that many people still continue to develop other autoimmunites despite going gluten-free, even if they start early on in life (I.e. infancy or early childhood).

Why is it that autoimmune diseases don't (generally) go into "remission" once gluten-free, since the body has been shown to repair itself if the autoimmunity can be removed? This is shown by the autoimmunity block research, and subsequent beta cell regeneration work of Dr. Denise Faustman.

How is it that 80% of kids with Type 1 diabetes (an autoimmune disease) and Celiac develop Type 1 FIRST, but do not express Celiac. They have the genes for it of course, but have not had them "triggered", like in all autoimmune diseases. Most people with Celiac, Type 1 diabetes genes, etc. do NOT develop the disease. You do not have the disease without the trigger. Celiac is NOT 100% genetics only. I don't mean gluten as the trigger, since these people tolerate gluten normally until the Celiac is set off by an initial "event".

I am excluding cases in which Celiac was previously present but not diagnosed, of course.

Also, why do most people with other autoimmune diseases NOT have Celiac?

So, you can see, I am quite confused. Why does everyone here think this? Does anyone have a legit scientific link (NOT a personal webpage, alternative medicine page etc.) that can set this straight?

Please help!

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I just bought Dangerous Grains. Have you read that?

It goes into autoimmune diseases that gluten is associated with. I don't think anyone is saying gluten is the only cause of these but a part. I've also read the same with vaccinations, msg.

My daughter had HSP (Henoch Schonlein Purpura) earlier this year. I will be curious if it returns with her first cold this winter. It's supposed to come back, but not as fierce. It is also something that is listed as aggravated by gluten.

I do think it is possible to reduce (or prevent) the risk of other autoimmune diseases if your body hasn't gone into that mode. From what I understand, that's what the ttg measures. Am I right with that?

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http://www.aarda.org/index.php

This is a good site about autoimmune disease.

Autoimmunity requires a trigger - that is true, Untreated celiac can provide the trigger because as long as gluten is ingested the immune system is producing cells that damage the villi. Type 1 Diabetes - although treated with insulin - is an ongoing attack itself. That if we found a way to stop the immune attack - the islet cells could regenerate, but they are destroyed faster than they can regenerate. That is why somone with diabetes often develops hashimotos hypothyroidism or celiac.... because their system is geared up all the time

Celiac is one disease where we can calm the immune system by avoiding gluten - we avoid gluten - the immune attack stops. We ingest gluten - it will begin again immediately because the T cells have memory. Its about the only immune mediated disease where we can stop the immune response by avoiding the "antigen". An analogy related to an immune response would be a stinging insect allergy - as long as you dont get stung - you wont have an immune response. Just like gluten - as long as you dont eat it - your immune sytem is quiet. So many think that if a celiac goes gluten-free , the immune system calms down and hopefully reduces the possibility of other immune disorders - because you took away one potential trigger for further disease. But there are many triggers.

If a genetic flaw is there and the right trigger occurs (it can be environmental, viral, bacterial) the autoimmune disease will develop.

Some articles about celicc and autoimmune

Pub med :

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...p;dopt=Abstract

http://cdli.asm.org/cgi/content/full/8/4/678

Celiac Disease-Associated Autoimmune Endocrinopathies

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:unsure: I'm kind of confused. It seems like a lot of people on this board seem to think that other autoimmune diseases can be prevented by going gluten-free. Where is the scientific evidence for this? Where did this idea come from?

While it's true that Celiac is related to other autoimmune diseases, isn't it thought to be because of the shared common genetics and "leaky gut" letting in triggers?

Why is it that many people still continue to develop other autoimmunites despite going gluten-free, even if they start early on in life (I.e. infancy or early childhood).

Why is it that autoimmune diseases don't (generally) go into "remission" once gluten-free, since the body has been shown to repair itself if the autoimmunity can be removed? This is shown by the autoimmunity block research, and subsequent beta cell regeneration work of Dr. Denise Faustman.

How is it that 80% of kids with Type 1 diabetes (an autoimmune disease) and Celiac develop Type 1 FIRST, but do not express Celiac. They have the genes for it of course, but have not had them "triggered", like in all autoimmune diseases. Most people with Celiac, Type 1 diabetes genes, etc. do NOT develop the disease. You do not have the disease without the trigger. Celiac is NOT 100% genetics only. I don't mean gluten as the trigger, since these people tolerate gluten normally until the Celiac is set off by an initial "event".

I am excluding cases in which Celiac was previously present but not diagnosed, of course.

Also, why do most people with other autoimmune diseases NOT have Celiac?

So, you can see, I am quite confused. Why does everyone here think this? Does anyone have a legit scientific link (NOT a personal webpage, alternative medicine page etc.) that can set this straight?

Please help!

It looks like you're asking us to answer a great many questions that can only be addressed by running medical studies. Why is that? We can each only speak of our own experiences.

I went gluten-free without any gastrointestinal symptoms, and I have not developed any autoimmune diseases to my knowledge, knock on wood.

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Why is it that autoimmune diseases don't (generally) go into "remission" once gluten-free, since the body has been shown to repair itself if the autoimmunity can be removed?

I wanted to address this question as it was confusing initially - but I think I know what you are asking (?)

Going gluten free does not send OTHER autoimmune diseases into remission - only celiac (as in the villi are able to heal once gluten no longer triggers the T cells). BUT the autoimmunity is STILL there and will be triggered again by ingestion of gluten.

So technically it is never in remission - it is being treated by gluten-free diet. Remission implies that the disease has "gone away". I can attest to the fact that if my children get gluten - within hours they are very ill - and a full blown immune response is under way. If they were in "remission" - they would not react to the gluten

Once a separate disorder (hypothyroidism, diabetes for example) develop - going gluten free is not the treatment for those diseases so it wont help those particular diseases once they develop...

With regard to "autoimmunity being removed" you must be refering to the reasearch by Dr Faustman... and that involves donor T cells and immune suppressents to accomplish. If you read the study carefully - her research is the basis for islet cell transplants.

Immune suppressent drugs would cure the majority of autoimmune disease - the problem is that side effects from those drugs are more life threatening than the disease itself. This has been known for 20 years.

Dr. Faustman has identified a singular immune T cell defect in diabetic mice that is responsible for the destruction of insulin producing beta cells. This T cell defect is due to a genetically identifiable trait, and it is because of this defect that the cells can be mature inappropriately to attack the beta cells and become autoreactive T cells. Luckily, this same defect also results in a flaw that allows these T cells to be singled out and destroyed. That is, the cells are more susceptible to the effects of a signaling protein, known as TNF-alpha, which initiates the process of apoptosis, or cell suicide. A second part of the treatment prevents the redevelopment of the disease producing autoimmune T cells. Immune cells from another tissue-matched individual are able to re-educate the T-cells to recognize the pancreatic beta cells as "self", effectively re-educating the immune system, and preventing autoimmune cell formation and beta cell destruction. The natural process of beta cell regeneration then cured the diabetes in the mouse experiments. This process of destroying the defective T cells and preventing their recurrence is described as immunomodulation.

http://www.mgh.harvard.edu/diabetes/%5Claboratory_type1.htm

Immunomodulation. A non-specific term indicating some intervention targeted at white blood cells (lymphocytes). In the novel treatment which cured diabetic mice, immunomodulation prevented the regeneration of autoimmune T cells.

...and personal experience - once the celiac was diagnosed - my children have been healthier than ever. ALL the immune mediated diseases occurred before celiac was diagnosed and in hindsight the children had symptoms and were likely celiac prior to the onset of the other diseases. My son was diagnoised with celiac 10 months after the diabetes - and the endocrinologist was the one who suggested it had likely been there before the diabetes was diagnosed. I was back and forth to doctors every few months - and since the gluten-free diet? Routine colds etc..instead of pneumonia and KD and more meds to add to the cabinet.

Nobody here is an immune expert - as a group we have found similar experiences - we have no study or research to prove it.

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:unsure: I'm kind of confused. It seems like a lot of people on this board seem to think that other autoimmune diseases can be prevented by going gluten-free. Where is the scientific evidence for this? Where did this idea come from?

While it's true that Celiac is related to other autoimmune diseases, isn't it thought to be because of the shared common genetics and "leaky gut" letting in triggers?

Why is it that many people still continue to develop other autoimmunites despite going gluten-free, even if they start early on in life (I.e. infancy or early childhood).

Why is it that autoimmune diseases don't (generally) go into "remission" once gluten-free, since the body has been shown to repair itself if the autoimmunity can be removed? This is shown by the autoimmunity block research, and subsequent beta cell regeneration work of Dr. Denise Faustman.

How is it that 80% of kids with Type 1 diabetes (an autoimmune disease) and Celiac develop Type 1 FIRST, but do not express Celiac. They have the genes for it of course, but have not had them "triggered", like in all autoimmune diseases. Most people with Celiac, Type 1 diabetes genes, etc. do NOT develop the disease. You do not have the disease without the trigger. Celiac is NOT 100% genetics only. I don't mean gluten as the trigger, since these people tolerate gluten normally until the Celiac is set off by an initial "event".

I am excluding cases in which Celiac was previously present but not diagnosed, of course.

Also, why do most people with other autoimmune diseases NOT have Celiac?

So, you can see, I am quite confused. Why does everyone here think this? Does anyone have a legit scientific link (NOT a personal webpage, alternative medicine page etc.) that can set this straight?

Please help!

Most of this depends on the pretext that "leaky gut" in terms of zonulin is the only way autoimmune response is triggered and further that the permeability of the guy wall remains constant wrt proteins.

Firstly a ref for your direct question:

Ventura A,Magazzu G, Greco L. Duration of exposure to gluten and risk for autoimmune disorders in celiac patients. Gastroenterology 1999;117:297–303.

Lets consider it as science and not medicine.

Celiac is NOT 100% genetics only. I don't mean gluten as the trigger, since these people tolerate gluten normally until the Celiac is set off by an initial "event".

I am not aware of any studies that show biopsy proven celaics have increased zonulin OVER people who are biopsy negative but IgA and IgG positive. That is the difference is one person is repairing cells as fast as they are destroyed and the other is not. This obviously depends of the level of gliadin specific antibodies but also the persons own regenerative capacity which can be comprimised by disease, pregnancy or age.

The second precept is that the level of zonulin is the only control over relative permeability in large molecules in the same way that ion channels control anion permeability. However we know that not only can anions pass through a specific channel but large proteins can piggy back. If you weant to check this out read up on Alzhemers and also ion-delivered pharmacuticals.

The third as yet unmentioned and as far as I know unresearched area is the presense and type of intestinal flora.

Unlike the most parts of the digestive system the intestine is relatively flora free.

Until very recently the idea of bacteria living in the stomach was laughable....and the thought that those bacteria themself could affect enzyme production in the stomach science fiction.

I hypothesise that the flatttening and total destruction of villi in addition to associated inflamation may provide a foothold for other bacteria which do not normally survive the intenstine and themsleves can influenbce enzyme and permeability of the gut in addition to the inflammation itself increasing exposure to the tight junctions inside the intestine wall.

When a celaic goes gluten-free and the intenstine walls are repaired then perhaps the effective permeability decreases not only to gluten but to other potential toxins.

A parallel to this is the stomach wall in the case of h pylori.

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Guest nini

I can only speak from personal experience, and refer you to the book "Dangerous Grains"... before my dx of Celiac, I was very ill, my immune system was attacking itself. Plain and simple. I also have Fibromyalgia... while the Fibro has not gone away completely, the symptoms of it are greatly improved, so I don't necesarily think that going gluten-free CURED my fibro, I do think it has made the symptoms more manageable. I do think that in the case of my daughter, early dx and intervention MAY prevent her from developing the same autoimmune disorders that I have... is this just wishful thinking on my part? Maybe, but her recent checkup shows that she is an extremely healthy six year old...

So will my daughter's gluten-free diet prevent her from developing fibromyalgia or other autoimmune disorders? I hope so... Did my going gluten-free CURE my other autoimmune disorders? No, but would it have prevented them if I had been accurately dx'ed as a child? That is what I would like to know. I believe it to be the case, but I don't have any proof.

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I can only speak from personal experience, and refer you to the book "Dangerous Grains"... before my dx of Celiac, I was very ill, my immune system was attacking itself. Plain and simple. I also have Fibromyalgia... while the Fibro has not gone away completely, the symptoms of it are greatly improved, so I don't necesarily think that going gluten-free CURED my fibro, I do think it has made the symptoms more manageable. I do think that in the case of my daughter, early dx and intervention MAY prevent her from developing the same autoimmune disorders that I have... is this just wishful thinking on my part? Maybe, but her recent checkup shows that she is an extremely healthy six year old...

So will my daughter's gluten-free diet prevent her from developing fibromyalgia or other autoimmune disorders? I hope so... Did my going gluten-free CURE my other autoimmune disorders? No, but would it have prevented them if I had been accurately dx'ed as a child? That is what I would like to know. I believe it to be the case, but I don't have any proof.

And here is the point exactly....

What proof is there that your daughter going gluten-free will be harmed by the gluten-free diet?

Absolutely none

On the other hand what if this offsets other autoimmune disorders by 10 years not even forever, isn't THAT worth it?

The point is i get a severe IgE response to lavendar when not gluten-free. When gluten-free I get a very mild and manageable response. The same goes for my hay fever...

Being gluten-free doesn't cure my hayfever but it makes it manageable. it benefits my heath overall.

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Plain and simple. I also have Fibromyalgia... while the Fibro has not gone away completely, the symptoms of it are greatly improved, so I don't necesarily think that going gluten-free CURED my fibro, I do think it has made the symptoms more manageable.

What if some of these things that have been labled diseases, like fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis are not, in fact, diseases, but symptoms?

What if, you cure/prevent the disease, you never experience these symptoms?

Just speculation...

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Doll-

You have some great questions!

Can't necessarily answer them, but thought you would be interested in reading Dr. Green's new book, Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic. He discusses other autoimmune disorders in great detail. In general, it is a superb book, and really gets down into celiac disease. I have the book but it is at home so I can't look any of it up. Maybe it will have some answers?

Laura :)

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What if some of these things that have been labled diseases, like fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis are not, in fact, diseases, but symptoms?

What if, you cure/prevent the disease, you never experience these symptoms?

As someone who had, notice the past tense there, arthritis not RA marker positive but RA symptom like, fibro, Sjorns, Alopecia and at different times was thought to have MS and Lupus I have to wonder about this too. See I am in complete remission from all of the above. Damage to, for example, my joints remains of course but I am symptom free. They were all related to gluten. I had 5 seperate diagnoses before the celiac was found, 7 if you count depression and ataxia. All, every single diagnosis was directly related to the celiac, every one. There is not a doubt in my mind that if celiac had been diagnosed in my childhood when symptoms first appeared I would not have developed the other conditions.

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What if some of these things that have been labled diseases, like fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis are not, in fact, diseases, but symptoms?

What if, you cure/prevent the disease, you never experience these symptoms?

Just speculation...

Exactly, just speculation here as well, but from what I'm reading about right now it could very well be the case.

I really, really need to write a bit about this, but do some research on Tissue Transglutaminase. Of great interest to me and an eye opener to me is this article. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender...mp;blobtype=pdf Read what ttg does, how it does what it does and why. And one of the keys to where I am leading with this is the list of substrates. Look at the substrates we injest (or virus/bacteria/fungi) and the substrates that our part of our bodies, imagine what this glue is doing, what is sticking to what, and then think about the reaction our bodies make to this "glue". Also, look at the list of diseases that involve tissues in our body that are a substrate to this enzyme. Guess why the test for Celiac tests for antibodies to ttg.

To be clear I don't have the answers for sure yet, more research for sure, but ttg appears to be "The Glue that Fits". :)

Mike

As someone who had, notice the past tense there, arthritis not RA marker positive but RA symptom like, fibro, Sjorns, Alopecia and at different times was thought to have MS and Lupus I have to wonder about this too. See I am in complete remission from all of the above. Damage to, for example, my joints remains of course but I am symptom free. They were all related to gluten. I had 5 seperate diagnoses before the celiac was found, 7 if you count depression and ataxia. All, every single diagnosis was directly related to the celiac, every one. There is not a doubt in my mind that if celiac had been diagnosed in my childhood when symptoms first appeared I would not have developed the other conditions.

Yes, and if you take a look at the substrates I see for ttg, I'm betting that those are tissues that are all involved with those diseases.

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What proof is there that your daughter going gluten-free will be harmed by the gluten-free diet?

Absolutely none

Actually there is proof that one could be harmed by removing gluten from the diet. And I am NOT saying to continue eating gluten though. What I am saying is that one needs to make sure that the nutrients removed from the diet by removing gluten containing products are added via other foods. I know this sounds funny/odd/strange here on a Celiac forum, but gluten products do have positive benefits. They definitly don't outweigh the harm though, even in folks without Celiac I think that the case could be made for removing gluten products from their diets.

Heck, besides Calcium, I'm reading some of the other benefits of dairy, that make me see how I need to make sure that I get those benefits elsewhere.

Thanks,

Mike

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Actually there is proof that one could be harmed by removing gluten from the diet.

Maybe not the best semantics. Removing gluten causes no harm. Removing the foods that contain gluten might limit certain nutrients unless you get them from a different source.

I know your post goes on to say basically that, but you (I think it was you(?)) used the opposite argument in a different post about removing meat.

The loss of any one food is unlikely to cause a problem if you take care not to lose the nutrients associated with that food.

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Maybe not the best semantics. Removing gluten causes no harm. Removing the foods that contain gluten might limit certain nutrients unless you get them from a different source.

I know your post goes on to say basically that, but you (I think it was you(?)) used the opposite argument in a different post about removing meat.

The loss of any one food is unlikely to cause a problem if you take care not to lose the nutrients associated with that food.

Ha, thanks for clarifying, I'm not always the best with words. Took me more than 1 try to pass Writing 101 in college. :( LOL

Oh, and I hope I wasn't saying bad things about meat. Clearly I must have been glutened and in a fog if I did. :D

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I have long been asking myself these same questions, jestgar...could my father's depression, his IBS, his arthritis, could these "diseases" be really celiac symptoms? Of course, I believe, they could be, even though his celiac panel came back "inconclusive". I am certain that untreated celiac can cause these illnesses. Autoimmune disorders, not sure...

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Good points you guys! First thing the GI told me was ... all the grains that contain gluten also provide nutrients and can be a source of fiber in the diet. To compensate - he asked that I be willing to try other sources - like quinoa and make sure to include fiber foods - fresh veges, fruit, beans, lentils etc., ona daily basis...

Since we were not big eaters of the "bean family" (holy fart batman! :lol: )... he suggested we wait several months to allow the gut to heal before gradually introducing beans etc.

Now my kids love chili (with lots of kidney beans) and they insist on quinoa ...they like it better than rice :)

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Ha, thanks for clarifying, I'm not always the best with words. Took me more than 1 try to pass Writing 101 in college. :( LOL

Oh, and I hope I wasn't saying bad things about meat. Clearly I must have been glutened and in a fog if I did. :D

I'm sorry, it wasn't you.

And the person didn't say bad things, just an argument against eating meat and being able to get all your nutrition from other sources.

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Good questions, Doll!

The best hypothesis I can think of is that, when our immune systems are set off by gluten, they run amok and destroy all kinds of things in our body that we would prefer they NOT destroy (say, our thyroids, for example).

When we are gluten-free, our immune systems calm down and stop targeting everything in sight (unless we are sensitive to something else that triggers our immune system the same way). That is why many of us have noticed that other sensitivities have disappeared since going off gluten. Many of us have lost our sensitivities to milk products, metal (skin reactions), ec., and have noticed reflux improve

I'm sure you know that "studies" can be tweaked (one study purporting to show that vaccines had nothing to do with autism took out all children who had already been diagnosed with autism), and even interpreted to show pretty much whatever the funders WANT them to show.

You might look up AIDS and Dr. Peter Duesberg, who was a Nobel prize-winning scientist. He complained that nobody ever PROVED that HIV causes AIDS; he wrote a book about it, and showed that every symptom of AIDS could be caused by AZT. My husband (a PhD chemist) thought he was a quack, read the book, spent weeks looking up all his sources--and then finally said, "Hot Dang, he's right!"

I'm sure you would not be surprised to know that the medical community is so angry with Duesberg, they have practically crucified him.

I don't think that there is any way to prove that avoiding gluten can definitively stave off anything else developing for a celiac--but I do think it's obvious that going off gluten is going to decrease your chances of developing other autoimmune diseases.

It's kind of like the breastfeeding issue. How many years would it take to definitively prove that formula just doesn't do the job that mother's milk does? Yet, thanks to incredible marketing, ignorant moms, even stupider doctors, and herd mentality, how many moms don't even bother to TRY breastfeeding, thinking that formula is just as good or even better? (I don't include moms who for whatever reason are truly unable to breastfeed--I will certainly admit that for them, we are certainly lucky to have formula.)

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I personally don't think there's sufficent evidence for the leaky gut hypothesis causing other autoimmune diseases for 2 reasons.

First if you have foreign proteins entering the body than they would first go by the portal vein to the liver. The portal vein is the only vein that drains the intestines. The function of the liver is to detoxify any foreign materials absorbed through the intestines. If you had foreing particles in the liver it would start and inflamatory reaction and autoimmune hepatitis and cause cirrhosis pretty fast.

I think I read somehwere that celiac causes elevations of AST/ALT but not anywhere near the levels that would be found if there were foreing proteins deposited on daily basis there. So I think it's pretty safe to say that there's some leakage of proteins, but not enough to cause problems because there are only MILD elevations of AST/ALT ( marker of liver inflamation).

Second if you had cirulating foreign proteins in the blood there would be antibodies formed against them and they would produce so called "circulating antigen-antibody complexes" like in lupus. They would also be deposited in the kidney (the organ that detoxifies the blood) and cause renal failure.

As far as I undertsand it, the common factor behind celiac and other autoimmune diseases that come with it is mutation of HLA genes which causes T cell to recognize self tissues as foreign and attack them.

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Maybe so, but 40% of the population carries the same HLA genotype and not all of them develop Celiac.

Not sure if this link will work, but it's a nice review.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/0t53j5...p8/fulltext.pdf

The molecular basis of coeliac disease

Journal Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Issue Volume 6, Number 2 / June, 2006

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As far as I undertsand it, the common factor behind celiac and other autoimmune diseases that come with it is mutation of HLA genes which causes T cell to recognize self tissues as foreign and attack them.

I'm curious where you got this information. This is the first I've heard of it. I'd like to read more if you have any sources. Specfically the "mutation of HLA genes" part. From what I've read and understood thus far I don't see any reason why a mutation would even be required for the T cells to recognize self tissues as foreign. There are several mechanisms in place to stop the body from doing this, all of which are subject to disease or even part of the normal immune system process that allow the body to see tissues as foreign.

Thanks,

Mike

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I'm curious where you got this information. This is the first I've heard of it. I'd like to read more if you have any sources. Specfically the "mutation of HLA genes" part. From what I've read and understood thus far I don't see any reason why a mutation would even be required for the T cells to recognize self tissues as foreign. There are several mechanisms in place to stop the body from doing this, all of which are subject to disease or even part of the normal immune system process that allow the body to see tissues as foreign.

Thanks,

Mike

I tried to put it in very simple terms. It's obviously a lot more complicated than a simple mutation, because autoimmune diseases are caused by multiple factors, but the presence of abnormal HLA genes is the most important.

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This is info from reputable sites:

http://www.diabetesmonitor.com/b125.htm#causes

Are they inherited? The genes people inherit contribute to their susceptibility for developing an autoimmune disease. Certain diseases such as psoriasis can occur among several members of the same family. This suggests that a specific gene or set of genes predisposes a family member to psoriasis. In addition, individual family members with autoimmune diseases may inherit and share a set of abnormal genes, although they may develop different autoimmune diseases. For example, one first cousin may have lupus, another may have dermatomyositis, and one of their mothers may have rheumatoid arthritis.

T and B Cells

Most immune system cells are white blood cells, of which there are many types. Lymphocytes are one type of white blood cell, and two major classes of lymphocytes are T cells and B cells. T cells are critical immune system cells that help to destroy infected cells and coordinate the overall immune response. The T cell has a molecule on its surface called the T-cell receptor. This receptor interacts with molecules called MHC (major histocompatibility complex). MHC molecules are on the surfaces of most other cells of the body and help T cells recognize antigen fragments. B cells are best known for making antibodies. An antibody binds to an antigen and marks the antigen for destruction by other immune system cells

Antibodies

B cells are another critical type of immune system cell. They participate in the removal of foreign antigens from the body by using a surface molecule to bind the antigen or by making specific antibodies that can search out and destroy specific foreign antigens. However, the B cell can only make antibodies when it receives the appropriate command signal from a T cell. Once the T cell signals the B cell with a type of cytokine that acts as a messenger molecule, the B cell is able to produce a unique antibody that targets a particular antigen.

Autoantibodies

In some autoimmune diseases, B cells mistakenly make antibodies against tissues of the body (self antigens) instead of foreign antigens. Occasionally, these autoantibodies either interfere with the normal function of the tissues or initiate destruction of the tissues. People with myasthenia gravis experience muscle weakness because autoantibodies attack a part of the nerve that stimulates muscle movement. In the skin disease pemphigus vulgaris, autoantibodies are misdirected against cells in the skin. The accumulation of antibodies in the skin activates other molecules and cells to break down, resulting in skin blisters.

Genetic Factors

Genetic factors can affect an individual's immune system and its responses to foreign antigens in several ways. Genes determine the variety of MHC molecules that individuals carry on their cells. Genes also influence the potential array of T-cell receptors present on T cells. In fact, some MHC genes are associated with autoimmune diseases. However, genes are not the only factors involved in determining a person's susceptibility to an autoimmune disease. For example, some individuals who carry disease-associated MHC molecules on their cells will not develop an autoimmune disease.

http://www.celiac.org/celiac disease-cause.php

The cause of Celiac Disease, also known as celiac sprue, or gluten sensitive enteropathy (GSE), is unknown. Current research indicates that celiac disease is strongly associated with a group of genes on Chromosome 6. These genes (HLA class II antigens) are involved in the regulation of the body's immune response to the gluten protein fractions.

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