Cell-mediated immunity, malnutrition and plasma zinc levels in adult coeliac disease

G. R. Corazza, C. Prati, P. Mule, G. C. Sturniolo, A. Martin, M. Martelli, D. Quaglino, G. Gasbarrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to clarify the relationships between cell-mediated immunity, nutritional status and plasma zinc levels in adult coeliac disease. Compared with healthy volunteers and treated coeliac patients, cell-mediated immunity, assessed by skin tests, was significantly depressed in untreated coeliac disease. As far as plasma zinc is concerned, it was confirmed that levels are significantly low in untreated patients and that they increase significantly after gluten-free diet, although this is not sufficient to return the plasma zinc levels to within the control range in 39% of the treated patients. Malnutrition, assessed by anthropometric criteria, was present in the majority of the untreated coeliacs and improved significantly after removal of gluten from the diet. In untreated coeliac patients, however, skin tests did not correlate with either plasma zinc levels or nutritional status, suggesting that in untreated coeliac disease depressed cell-mediated immunity is probably secondary to other immunological abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-581
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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