Intraepithelial and lamina propria lymphocytes show distinct patterns of apoptosis whereas both populations are active in Fas based cytotoxicity in coeliac disease

A. Di Sabatino, R. Ciccocioppo, S. D'Alò, R. Parroni, D. Millimaggi, M. G. Cifone, G. R. Corazza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background - Lamina propria (LPLs) and intraepithelial (IELs) lymphocytes are markedly increased in coeliac mucosa, and are thought to play a crucial role in the generation of villous atrophy in coeliac disease (CD). However, the mechanisms by which they mediate the killing of enterocytes in this condition are still poorly characterised. Aim - We investigated Fas mediated cytotoxicity and apoptosis of both LPLs and IELs, isolated from 10 untreated coeliac patients, 10 coeliac patients on a gluten free diet, and 10 biopsied controls. Methods - Fas and Fas ligand expression were assessed by flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry. Lymphocyte cytotoxicity against Fas expressing Jurkat cells was determined by the Jam test. The effect of the antagonist ZB4 anti-Fas antibody on apoptotic activity exerted by coeliac lymphocytes against enterocytes was analysed. Lymphocyte apoptosis was assessed by oligonucleosome ELISA. Results - LPLs and IELs showed increased apoptotic activity and higher levels of Fas ligand expression in untreated CD compared with treated CD patients and controls. Enterocyte apoptosis observed after coculturing coeliac lymphocytes and enterocytes in the presence of ZB4 antibody was reduced. In active CD, LPLs manifested increased apoptosis whereas IELs showed decreased apoptosis. Conclusions - Our results support the involvement of the Fas/Fas ligand system in CD associated enterocyte apoptosis. Increased LPL apoptosis is likely to down-regulate mucosal inflammation whereas decreased IEL apoptosis could be responsible for autoimmune and malignant complications of CD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-386
Number of pages7
JournalGut
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Coeliac disease
  • Cytotoxicity assay
  • Fas/Fas ligand system
  • Intraepithelial lymphocytes
  • Lamina propria lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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