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Celiac disease

Catassi, Carloa,b; Fasano, Alessioa

Current Opinion in Gastroenterology: November 2008 - Volume 24 - Issue 6 - p 687–691
doi: 10.1097/MOG.0b013e32830edc1e
Stomach and duodenum: Edited by Mitchell L. Schubert

Purpose of review Recent advances in the clinical, epidemiological, genetic, and therapeutic aspects of celiac disease have made this condition a superb model of autoimmunity. This review will outline the most significant work that contributed to our current knowledge of the disease.

Recent findings Celiac disease is not confined to the Caucasian population as previously believed; rather its prevalence is approximately 1% worldwide. In addition to the HLA genes, many other genes involved in innate and adaptive immunity, intestinal barrier regulation, and autoimmunity have been identified as integral genetic components of the disease. Based on this information and on a better understanding of celiac disease pathogenesis, novel therapies alternative to the gluten-free diet are currently in advanced phase of development.

Summary The outcome of these new findings will most likely have a significant impact in clinical practice, including diagnosis and management of the disease. Furthermore, celiac disease can be used as a unique model to gain more insights on the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.

aMucosal Biology Research Center and Center for Celiac Research, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

bUniversita' Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy

Correspondence to Alessio Fasano, MD, Mucosal Biology Research Center and Center for Celiac Research, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Health Science Facility II, Room S345, 20 Penn Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA Tel: +1 410 706 5501; fax: +1 410 706 5508; e-mail: afasano@mbrc.umaryland.edu

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.