Reduced number and function of peripheral dendritic cells in coeliac disease

R. Ciccocioppo, G. Ricci, B. Rovati, I. Pesce, S. Mazzocchi, D. Piancatelli, A. Cagnoni, D. Millimaggi, M. Danova, G. R. Corazza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dendritic cells (DC) play a pivotal role in shaping the immune response in both physiological and pathological conditions. In peripheral blood at least two subsets, the myeloid and plasmacytoid, have been described as having different T stimulatory functions and a variable degree of maturation. Certainly, antigen presentation plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of coeliac disease and circulating immune cells are thought to reflect the state of immune response within the gut. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the quantitative and phenotypical modifications of peripheral blood DC, together with their functional properties, in this pathological condition. Blood samples from 11 untreated patients before and after a course of gluten-free diet, 27 treated patients and 14 controls underwent flow-cytometric analysis, while immunomagnetically sorted DC from the CD patients and eight human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-DQ2/8+ bone marrow donors were used to evaluate maturation status through the CD83 expression, cytokine profile for interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-12 and interferon (IFN)-α by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and functional properties by mixed leucocyte reaction before and after pulsing with digested gliadin. We found that in both untreated and treated patients, a significant reduction of the entire DC population, mainly the plasmacytoid subset, in comparison to healthy controls was observed. In active disease, an impaired allogenic lymphocyte reaction and a significant reduction of IFN-α production, paralleled by the presence of a more immature status, were also demonstrated. All the latter modifications have been reverted by pulsing DC with digested gliadin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-496
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007


  • Coeliac disease
  • Cytokines
  • Dendritic cells
  • Flow cytometry
  • Peripheral blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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