Celiac disease is characterized by small-intestinal mucosal injury and nutrient malabsorption in genetically susceptible individuals in response to the dietary ingestion of wheat gluten and similar proteins in barley and rye. Disease pathogenesis involves interactions among environmental, genetic, and immunological factors. Although celiac disease is predicted by screening studies to affect approximately 1% of the population of the United States and is seen both in children and in adults, 10%–15% or fewer of these individuals have been diagnosed and treated. This article focuses on the role of adaptive and innate immune mechanisms in the pathogenesis of celiac disease and how current concepts of immunopathogenesis might provide alternative approaches for treating celiac disease.
Martin F. Kagnoff