Aberrant extrathymic T cell receptor gene rearrangement in the small intestinal mucosa: a risk factor for coeliac disease?
2009 (English)In: Gut, ISSN 0017-5749, E-ISSN 1468-3288, Vol. 58, no 2, 189-195 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
BACKGROUND: Coeliac disease is a small intestine enteropathy caused by permanent intolerance to wheat gluten. Gluten intake by patients with coeliac disease provokes a strong reaction by intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs), which normalises on a gluten-free diet. AIM: To investigate whether impaired extrathymic T cell maturation and/or secondary T cell receptor (TCR) gene recombination in IELs are features of coeliac disease which could contribute to the failure of establishing tolerance to gluten.
METHODS: Expression levels of the four splice-forms of recombination activating gene-1 (RAG1) mRNA and preT alpha-chain (preTalpha) mRNA were determined in IEL-subsets of children with coeliac disease and controls. Frequencies of RAG1 expressing IELs were determined by immunomorphometry.
RESULTS: In controls, the RAG1-1A/2 splice-form selectively expressed outside the thymus, was dominant and expressed in both mature (TCR(+)) and immature (CD2(+)CD7(+)TCR(-)) IELs ( approximately 8 mRNA copies/18S rRNA U). PreTalpha was expressed almost exclusively in CD2(+)CD7(+)TCR(-) IELs ( approximately 40 mRNA copies/18S rRNA U). By contrast, RAG1 and preTalpha mRNA levels were low in patients with coeliac disease compared to controls, both with active disease and with inactive, symptom-free disease on a gluten-free diet (p values <0.01 for mature and <0.05 for immature IELs). Similarly, the frequencies of RAG1+ IELs were significantly lower in patients with coeliac disease compared to controls (p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with coeliac disease appear to have an impaired capacity for extrathymic TCR gene rearrangement. This is an inherent feature, which probably plays a pivotal role in the failure to efficiently downregulate the T cell response to gluten.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 58, no 2, 189-195 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-21080DOI: 10.1136/gut.2007.125526PubMedID: 18299319OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-21080DiVA: diva2:210796