Immunology

Celiac immunity scarred for life

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Science  08 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6431, pp. 1053
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6431.1053-a

Section of the gut epithelium showing inflammation during celiac disease

PHOTO: SAMIR/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Celiac disease (CD) is an enteric inflammatory disorder initiated and perpetuated by exposure to dietary gluten and mediated by intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs). Mayassi et al. compared IELs from CD patients, CD patients on a gluten-free diet, and healthy controls. In healthy humans, Vγ4/Vδ1+ IELs dominated, which recognize immunoglobulin-like molecules called butyrophilins (BTNLs) that are involved in fatty acid and sterol metabolism. In CD and gluten-free CD patients, Vγ4/Vδ1+ IELs were replaced by gluten-sensitive interferon-γ–producing Vδ1+ IELs bearing T cell receptors. It seems that CD reaches a peak at which the loss of survival ligands, like the BTNLs, decimates Vγ4/Vδ1+ IELs and allows Vδ1+ IELs to predominate instead. This process, termed “immunological scarring,” may contribute to other immunopathologies.

Cell 176, 967 (2019).

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