Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 379-385

Mucosal molecular pattern of tissue transglutaminase and interferon gamma in suspected seronegative celiac disease at marsh 1 and 0 stages

1 Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Gastroenterology Section, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
2 Department of Pathology Section, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
3 Gastroenterology Department of Medical Sciences Unit, Ospedali Riuniti, Foggia, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Enzo Ierardi
Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Gastroenterology Section, University of Bari, Piazza G, Cesare, Bari - 70124
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.167189

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Background/Aim: In celiac disease (CD), there is increased mRNA coding for tissue transglutaminase (tTG) and interferon gamma (IFNα). In seronegative celiac patients, the mucosal immune complexes anti-tTG IgA/tTG are found. We assayed tTG- and IFNα-mRNA in the mucosa of patients with a clinical suspicion of seronegative CD and correlated the values with intraepithelial CD3 lymphocytes (IELs). Materials and Methods: Distal duodenum specimens from 67 patients were retrieved and re-evaluated for immunohistochemically proven CD3 IELs. Five 10 μm sections were used for the extraction and assay of tTG and IFNα coding mRNA levels using reverse transcriptase real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Samples from 15 seropositive CD patients and 15 healthy subjects were used as positive and negative controls. Results were expressed as fold-change. Results: Our series was divided into three groups based on IEL count: >25 (14 patients: group A), 15–25 (26 patients: group B), and 0–15 (27 patients: Group C). tTG-mRNA levels were (mean ± SD): CD = 9.8 ± 2.6; group A = 10.04 ± 4.7; group B = 4.99 ± 2.3; group C = 2.26 ± 0.8, controls = 1.04 ± 0.2 (CD = group A > group B > group C = controls). IFNα-mRNA levels were: CD = 13.4 ± 3.6; group A = 7.28 ± 3.6; group B = 4.45 ± 2.9; group C = 2.06 ± 1.21, controls = 1.04 ± 0.4. Conclusions: Our results suggest that tTG- and IFNγmRNA levels are increased in both seropositive and potential seronegative patients with CD, showing a strong correlation with the CD3 IEL count at stage Marsh 1. An increase in both molecules is found even when IELs are in the range 15–25 (Marsh 0), suggesting the possibility of a "gray zone" inhabited by patients which should be closely followed up in gluten-related disorders.

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