CD34+ hemopoietic precursor and stem cells traffic in peripheral blood of celiac patients is significantly increased but not directly related to epithelial damage severity


Celiac disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory enteropathy of the small bowel resulting from a local TH1-mediated reaction to wheat gliadins and barley, rye and oat prolamins with the development of auto-antibodies to transglutaminases. As well as for other chronic inflammatory diseases, genetic background and environmental factors participate to pathogenesis. An increased traffic of CD34+ hemopoietic precursor and stem cells (HPC) has been reported in peripheral blood (PB) of subjects with allergic diseases that share in their pathogenesis immuno-mediated reactions, genetic and environmental factors. The aim of the present work was to investigate the CD34+ cell traffic and H2 / H1 polarization of lymphoid T-cell lineage, in the peripheral blood of subjects with CD, by means of flow-cytometric techniques. Group A of control was of 20 healthy subjects, aged 5 to 58 years. Study population (Group B) was of twentyeight patients, all females aged 13 to 70, receiving firstly a CD diagnosis at the SS Annunziata Hospital Digestive Physiopathology Out-standings’ by means of clinical, serologic and small intestinal biopsy findings. Peripheral CD34+ HPCs were significantly increased in Group B (median value 0.16) when compared with Group A (median value 0.03) (p 0.0001) but did not correlate either with anti-transglutaminase (tTG) antibody levels (IgA: p 0.226; IgG: p 0.810) or with histological damage severity (p 0.41) that, on the contrary, was significantly related with anti-tTG IgA antibodies (p 0.027). Celiac circulating CD3+CD4+ lymphocytes expressed a chemokine-receptor pattern Th2-skewed in all but three patients investigated. Concluding, the CD34+ HPC highly increased peripheral traffic observed in celiac disease appears more related to a basic and emerging as common defect shared by chronic inflammatory diseases than to the gliadin-specific Th1 local reactions. Data are consistent
with a potential NFkappaB deficiency and consequent prevalence of apoptotic versus survival programs leading to excessive cell-death; to replace lost cells a supplementary bone-marrow derived precursors supply, further to that physiologically provided by the gut stem cell “niches” that are cryptopatches, could be required.

Table of Content: Vol. 40 (No. 3) 2008 November

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