Abnormalities in CD57+ cytotoxic T cells and Vδ1+ γδT cells in subclinical celiac disease in childhood are affected by cytomegalovirus. The Generation R Study
Abstract Celiac disease (CD) is a digestive and autoimmune disorder driven by an immune response to modified gluten peptides. Affected intestines show infiltrates of various T-cell and NK-cell subsets. It is currently unclear if individuals with subclinical CD have systemic abnormalities in immune cells. We here studied whether subclinical CD is associated with changes in blood CD57-expressing and Vδ1-expressing lymphocytes in children, and whether cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection modifies this association. Included were 1068 children from the Generation R Study. Serum Immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels against CMV were measured by ELISA; Tissue transglutaminase type 2 antibody (TG2A) levels with fluorescence enzyme immunoassay (FEIA). Duodenal biopsies, additional Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) DQ 2.2, 2.5 and 8 and endomysial antibody (EMA) typing were performed in TG2A positive children. Subclinical CD cases ( n = 12) had 1.8 fold (95% CI 1.06; 3.1) fewer Vδ1+ T cells which was predominantly observed in CMV seronegative children (p-interaction 0.02), and 2.7 fold (95% CI 1.25; 5.99) more CD57+ T cells than HLA DQ2/-DQ8 positive controls ( n = 339). Hence, children with subclinical CD have alterations in specific blood T cell subsets that are linked to viral pathology. The observed interaction effect between subclinical CD and CMV may contribute to the understanding of disease pathogenesis. Highlights Blood CD57+ T cells are increased in subclinical celiac disease (CD) in childhood. In contrast, blood Vδ1+ cells are decreased, especially in CMV seronegative children. Chronic immune activation or immunosenescence may be involved in CD pathogenesis. Recruitment of Vδ1+ cells to the intestinal epithelium may appear prior to disease onset.
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