Gluten response in celiac patients could lead to diagnostic test

Science Daily

A study led by ImmunastaT Inc. could provide significant advances in diagnostic testing for celiac disease. The current testing requires patients to ingest gluten over an extended period of time, sometimes up to several months, before having an invasive procedure to sample the small intestine. During this time, the patient will experience the symptoms related to celiac, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The new test involves researchers testing for immune markers related to celiac disease in blood samples. Initial research shows that these markers are present and detectable in blood samples in just a few hours after gluten consumption. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) was found to be the most prominent cytokine to appear shortly after gluten ingestion. Researchers believe that celiac symptoms are caused by gluten-specific CD4+ T-cells are being reactivated by the presence of these markers.

Read More

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. “Gluten response in celiac patients could lead to diagnostic test: Exciting step towards world-first blood test for diagnosing coeliac diseaes.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2019. <>.

Journal Reference:
Gautam Goel, Jason A. Tye-Din, Shuo-Wang Qiao, Amy K. Russell, Toufic Mayassi, Cezary Ciszewski, Vikas K. Sarna, Suyue Wang, Kaela E. Goldstein, John L. Dzuris, Leslie J. Williams, Ramnik J. Xavier, Knut E. A. Lundin, Bana Jabri, Ludvig M. Sollid, Robert P. Anderson. Cytokine release and gastrointestinal symptoms after gluten challenge in celiac disease. Science Advances, 2019; 5 (8): eaaw7756 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw7756

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The zonulin biomarker is a pre-haptoglobin (pre-HP2) protein found in the gut. It is responsible for the permeability of the mucosal barrier of the intestines. When zonulin binds to the epithelial cells of the intestines a signal cascade is induced. This cascade disassembles the paracellular tight junctions of the intestinal wall. The tight junctions of the intestinal walls are one of two ways that allow molecules to transfer from the gut lumen to the bloodstream and vice versa. 

Why Measure Zonulin?

When zonulin levels in the gut increase and go out of balance, these junctions open wider and stay open longer. These widened entry points allow larger macromolecules into the bloodstream or into the gut lumen. The molecules that pass through these breaches can increase the body’s natural immune reaction, causing inflammation and a number of autoimmune diseases. 

Diseases Associated with Increased Zonulin Levels:

  • Celiac Disease
  • Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Diarrhea-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS-D)
  • Type-1 Diabetes
  • Liver Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Zonulin Stool ELISA Assay