Abstract Title:

Up-regulation of small intestinal interleukin-17 immunity in untreated coeliac disease but not in potential coeliac disease or in type 1 diabetes.

Abstract Source:

Clin Exp Immunol. 2012 Feb ;167(2):226-34. PMID: 22235998

Abstract Author(s):

A I Lahdenperä, V Hölttä, T Ruohtula, H M Salo, L Orivuori, M Westerholm-Ormio, E Savilahti, K Fälth-Magnusson, L Högberg, J Ludvigsson, O Vaarala

Article Affiliation:

Division of Paediatrics, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.


Up-regulation of interleukin (IL)-17 in small intestinal mucosa has been reported in coeliac disease (CD) and in peripheral blood in type 1 diabetes (T1D). We explored mucosal IL-17 immunity in different stages of CD, including transglutaminase antibody (TGA)-positive children with potential CD, children with untreated and gluten-free diet-treated CD and in children with T1D. Immunohistochemistry was used for identification of IL-17 and forkhead box protein 3 (FoxP3)-positive cells and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for IL-17, FoxP3, retinoic acid-related orphan receptor (ROR)c and interferon (IFN)-γ transcripts. IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-17 were studied in supernatants from biopsy cultures. Expression of the apoptotic markers BAX and bcl-2 was evaluated in IL-17-stimulated CaCo-2 cells. The mucosal expression of IL-17 and FoxP3 transcripts were elevated in individuals with untreated CD when compared with the TGA-negative reference children, children with potential CD or gluten-free diet-treated children with CD (P<0·005 for all IL-17 comparisons and P<0·01 for all FoxP3 comparisons). The numbers of IL-17-positive cells were higher in lamina propria in children with CD than in children with T1D (P<0·05). In biopsy specimens from patients with untreated CD, enhanced spontaneous secretion of IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-17 was seen. Activation of anti-apoptotic bcl-2 in IL-17-treated CaCo-2 epithelial cells suggests that IL-17 might be involved in mucosal protection. Up-regulation of IL-17 could, however, serve as a biomarker for the development of villous atrophy and active CD.

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