Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2011 Apr 12;6(4):e18648. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018648.

Improved xenobiotic metabolism and reduced susceptibility to cancer in gluten-sensitive macaques upon introduction of a gluten-free diet.

Author information

Division of Microbiology, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, Louisiana, United States of America.



A non-human primate (NHP) model of gluten sensitivity was employed to study the gene perturbations associated with dietary gluten changes in small intestinal tissues from gluten-sensitive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta).


Stages of remission and relapse were accomplished in gluten-sensitive animals by administration of gluten-free (GFD) and gluten-containing (GD) diets, as described previously. Pin-head-sized biopsies, obtained non-invasively by pediatric endoscope from duodenum while on GFD or GD, were used for preparation of total RNA and gene profiling, using the commercial Rhesus Macaque Microarray (Agilent Technologies),targeting expression of over 20,000 genes.


When compared with normal healthy control, gluten-sensitive macaques showed differential gene expressions induced by GD. While observed gene perturbations were classified into one of 12 overlapping categories--cancer, metabolism, digestive tract function, immune response, cell growth, signal transduction, autoimmunity, detoxification of xenobiotics, apoptosis, actin-collagen deposition, neuronal and unknown function--this study focused on cancer-related gene networks such as cytochrome P450 family (detoxification function) and actin-collagen-matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) genes.


A loss of detoxification function paralleled with necessity to metabolize carcinogens was revealed in gluten-sensitive animals while on GD. An increase in cancer-promoting factors and a simultaneous decrease in cancer-preventing factors associated with altered expression of actin-collagen-MMP gene network were noted. In addition, gluten-sensitive macaques showed reduced number of differentially expressed genes including the cancer-associated ones upon withdrawal of dietary gluten. Taken together, these findings indicate potentially expanded utility of gluten-sensitive rhesus macaques in cancer research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center