[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coeliac disease is frequently associated with other immunomediated diseases. Our aim was to identify immunological comorbidities and possible risk factors for their development in coeliac patients.
We recruited a cohort of 1,015 coeliac patients followed from 0 to 46 years in a single tertiary referral centre. Data were collected from the yearly scheduled clinical and serological evaluations. Possible risk factors such as demographic parameters, type of symptomatic presentation, gluten exposure, gluten-free diet compliance and family history were all evaluated. Subjects (848,606) from the regional health registry were investigated as controls.
The prevalence of immunomediated diseases was higher in patients with coeliac disease compared to the registry population (23 % vs 0.4 %, p < 0.001). Diagnosis during paediatric age represented a risk factor for the presence of at least an immunomediated disease (hazard ratio = 1.62, 95 % confidence interval 1.15-2.29, p = 0.0061). Type of presentation and dietetic compliance did not represent risk factors. Long-standing gluten exposure reduced the risk of developing immunomediated diseases in coeliac subjects (hazard ratio for 1 year longer exposure 0.23, 95 % confidence interval 0.16-0.33, p < 0.0001). A familiar background characterized by the presence of immunological disorders was not a risk factor, although 419 (13 %) first degree relatives of coeliac patients out of 3,195 had an immunomediated disease.
Our study suggests the need to investigate coeliac patients for other associated immunomediated diseases, independently of sex, gluten exposure and compliance to therapy; also subjects diagnosed in paediatric age should be carefully screened during follow up.
Journal of Clinical Immunology 04/2012; 32(5):984-90. · 2.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Uncomplicated diverticular disease is a common condition in patients older than 50 years. Symptoms are aspecific and overlapping with those of irritable bowel syndrome. Nowadays, patients are often treated with antinflammatory drugs (5-aminosalicilic acid).
Our purpose was to evaluate the presence of inflammation in the colonic mucosa of patients with symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease compared with subjects without diverticula.
Endoscopic biopsies of colon from 10 patients with symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease and 10 from subjects without diverticula (controls) were taken. Specimens were homogenised and IL2, IL4, IL5, IL8, IL10, IL12p70, IL13, IFN gamma, TNF alfa (searchlight multiplex technique), TGF beta, transglutaminase type 2 and caspase 9 were measured. Histochemistry for transglutaminase type 2 and TUNEL were performed on the histological sections, in addition to morphologic evaluation, as markers of tissue remodelling and apoptosis. For statistical analysis Student's t test and Spearman correlation test were used.
No histological differences were detected between the patients with an uncomplicated diverticular disease and controls. Mean values of mucosal cytokines and of the other tested parameters did not show statistically significant differences between patients with uncomplicated diverticular disease and controls.
Even if based on a small number of patients, the study demonstrates the absence of inflammation in the mucosa of subjects affected by uncomplicated diverticular disease.
Digestive Diseases and Sciences 07/2011; 56(7):2098-103. · 2.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tight junctions play a pivotal role in maintaining the integrity of the intestinal barrier. Their alteration is involved in the pathogenesis of celiac disease. Our aim was to investigate the gliadin effect on the tight junction proteins in an in vitro three-dimensional cell culture model through imaging analyses. Lovo multicellular spheroids were treated with enzymatically digested (PT) gliadin 500 μg/mL and its effect on actin, occludin and zonula occludens-1, was evaluated by means of confocal laser microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and image capture analysis. Compared to untreated spheroids, PT-gliadin-treated ones showed enlargement of the paracellular spaces (9.0±6.9 vs. 6.2±1.7 nm, p<0.05) at transmission electron microscopy and tight junction protein alterations at confocal microscopy and image analyses. In untreated cell cultures thickness of the fluorescence contour of actin, zonula occludens-1 and occludin appeared significantly larger and more intense than in the treated ones. In occludin planimetric analysis the lengths of the integral uninterrupted cellular contour appeared longer in untreated than in PT-gliadin treated spheroids (71.8±42.8 vs. 23.4±25.9 μm, p<0.01). Our data demonstrated that tight junction proteins are directly damaged by gliadin as shown by means of quantitative imaging analysis.
Toxicology in Vitro 02/2011; 25(1):45-50. · 3.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) represents a socially and clinically relevant disorder, characterized by intestinal chronic inflammation. Cystamine (CysN) is a multipotent molecule with healthy effects and, moreover, it is an inhibitor of transglutaminases (TGs), including the TG type 2 (TG2), an enzyme with pleiotropic functions, involved in different pathways of inflammation and central in the pathogenesis of some human disorders as the IBD. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of CysN in an IBD rat model. A total of 30 rats were divided into 4 groups: controls without treatment (CTR; n=7); receiving the 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid enema (TNBS group; n=8); treated with TNBS enema plus oral CysN (TNBS-CysN group; n=8); treated with CysN (CysN group; n=7). After killing, bowel inflammation was evaluated applying specific scores. TG activity, TG2 and isopeptide bond immunohistochemical expression, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were evaluated in the colonic tissue, such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) serological levels (ELISA). TG2 was also evaluated on the luminal side of the colon by immunoautoradiography. Colonic samples from IBD patients were compared with animal results. TNBS-CysN group developed a less severe colitis compared with the TNBS group (macroscopic score 0.43±0.78 vs 3.28±0.95, microscopic score 6.62±12.01 vs 19.25±6.04, P<0.05, respectively) associated with a decrease of TG activity, TG2 and isopeptide bond immunohistochemical expression, TNF-α and IL-6 levels. No statistically significant differences were found between CysN and CTR groups. The colonic immunolocalization of TG2 was comparable in humans affected by IBD and TNBS-administered animals. This is the first demonstration that treatment with a CysN has an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing severity of colitis in a rat model. CysN could be tested as a possible treatment or co-treatment in IBD therapeutic trials.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyloidosis, a potentially fatal disease, is characterized by an abnormal deposition of autologous proteins. Heart, liver, kidneys, lung, thyroid, skin and the gastrointestinal tract can be involved; in this last case mucosal alterations or disturbances of the motility leading to pseudo-obstruction, bleeding, diarrhea and malabsorption can be present. However, the data concerning the possible gastrointestinal presentations of amyloidosis are scanty and heterogeneous. We report the case of a patient presenting severe gastrointestinal symptoms caused by a megaduodenum. The patient was thoroughly investigated and lesions appeared limited to the upper gastrointestinal tract in the absence of a systemic disorder. However, at follow up the patient developed cardiac dilatation and bioptic samples revealed the presence of amyloidosis.