Elevated B cell-activating factor of the tumour necrosis factor family in coeliac disease

Martina Fabris, Daniela Visentini, Valli De Re, Alessia Picierno, Roberto Maieron, Renato Cannizzaro, Danilo Villalta, Francesco Curcio, Salvatore De Vita, Elio Tonutti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. The B cell-activating factor of the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) family (BAFF) was recently described as a critical survival factor for B cells, and its expression is increased in several autoimmune diseases. Abnormal production of BAFF disturbs immune tolerance allowing the survival of autoreactive B cells and participates in the progression of B-cell lymphomas. Coeliac disease (CD) is a common autoimmune disorder induced by gluten intake in genetically predisposed individuals, associated with autoantibody production and with an increased risk of lymphoma at follow-up. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible implications of BAFF in CD. Material and methods. Seventy-three patients with small-bowel biopsies and laboratory-proven diagnosis of CD were included in the study. All serum samples were analysed before the start of a gluten-free diet (GFD). In 12 cases, one or more samples were analysed during follow-up of the GFD. Seventy-seven blood donors were taken as controls. Serum BAFF levels and anti-transglutaminase (a-tTG) antibodies were assessed by ELISA and endomysial antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence. Results. Serum BAFF levels appeared to be significantly more elevated in CD patients than in controls (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1434-1439
Number of pages6
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Anti-transglutaminase antibodies
  • Autoimmunity
  • B-cells
  • BAFF/BlyS
  • Coeliac disease
  • Lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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