Intestinal Microbiota and Celiac Disease

Moisés Laparra, Marta Olivares, Yolanda Sanz


Intestinal microbiota is considered to perform important metabolic and immunologic functions, which affect the host’s health and disease risk. Evidence from epidemiologic studies suggests that environmental factors influencing the intestinal ecosystem, such breast-feeding practices and incidence of gastrointestinal infections, can also contribute to the risk of developing celiac disease (CD). Breast-feeding seems to exert a protective role against CD and it also favors bifidobacteria colonization in the infant’s gut. Colonization of the newborn intestine is considered a critical stimulus for the adequate development of immune and intestinal barrier functions, modulating host protection mechanisms against allergens and pathogens. Observational studies indicate that gut colonization patterns of infants at genetic risk of developing CD differ from those of non-risk infants, which could also influence CD development. Imbalances in the gut microbiota of CD patients in comparison to healthy controls have also been reported in several observational studies. It is hypothesized that these alterations and specific bacteria isolated from patients could contribute to CD pathogenesis by activation of the pro-inflammatory Th1-type response typical of the disease according to in vitro and animal studies. Therefore, dietary interventions based on the use of probiotics are being considered as potential adjuvants and preventive strategies to control the disease, as well as to improve quality of life of CD patients. These strategies could theoretically contribute to restoring the intestinal ecosystem, thereby ameliorating the severity of CD pathological manifestations and to developing a gluten-tolerant phenotype in subjects at risk via different mechanisms.

Palabras clave

celiac, microbiota, intestine

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