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Am J Gastroenterol. 2007 Sep;102(9):2026-35. Epub 2007 Jun 15.

Fate of five celiac disease-associated antibodies during normal diet in genetically at-risk children observed from birth in a natural history study.

Author information

1
JDRF Center for Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes in Finland, and Department of Pediatrics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To explore the natural history of antibodies against tissue transglutaminase (TGA), endomysium (EMA), reticulin (ARA), and gliadin (AGA-IgG and AGA-IgA) in children carrying HLA-conferred risk for celiac disease (CD) and observed frequently from birth.

METHODS:

TGA was measured in serum samples obtained between years 2000 and 2003 from 1,320 children carrying genetic CD risk. If a sample was TGA positive, all five antibodies were analyzed in all banked and forthcoming samples from that child, and a duodenal biopsy was recommended. At the end of this observation, in August 2004, the age of the children was from 1 to 9.5 yr (mean 4.1 yr).

RESULTS:

Forty-nine children (3.7%) were TGA positive. In these children, AGA-IgG had emerged at the mean age (+/- SD, range) of 2.0 +/- 1.5, 0.5-6.6 yr, while TGA, EMA, and ARA all emerged concurrently somewhat later (TGA at 3.2 +/- 1.5, 1.0-7.0 yr, P < 0.001 when compared to AGA-IgG). Despite continuing gluten exposure, positive TGA, EMA, ARA, AGA-IgA, and AGA-IgG values were spontaneously lost in 49%, 45%, 43%, 41%, and 32% of the children, respectively. CD was diagnosed by biopsy in 20 of the 26 TGA-positive children who consented to a biopsy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Potential CD trigger(s) other than only gluten probably function before AGA-IgG emerges, i.e., > or =3 months earlier than the transglutaminase-associated antibodies appear. In a remarkable proportion of the children, antibodies disappear spontaneously suggesting that regulatory immune phenomena under favorable circumstances are able to extinguish incipient CD in genetically at-risk children even without exclusion of gluten from the diet.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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