Gut Mucosal Reactivity to Gluten and Cow´s Milk Protein in Rheumatic Diseases
Sammanfattning: This thesis comprised patients with chronic rheumatic diseases. The studies aimed to elucidate food sensitivity by measuring mucosal inflammatory reactivity and thereby a possible link between the gut and joints. In all the studies, the mucosal path technique was used to evaluate the rectal mucosal response to rectal challenge with gluten and/or cow’s milk protein (CM).In some patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) and the genetic susceptibility genes HLA DQ2, mucosal reactivity measured with nitric oxide (NO) was found after rectal gluten challenge without detectable serum antibodies to gluten or transglutaminase. This gluten sensitivity was not linked to coeliac disease.After rectal CM challenge, a rectal mucosal inflammatory response measured with NO and myeloperoxidase (MPO) was detected in 38% of pSS patients, all of whom fulfilled the criteria for irritable bowel syndrome.In a questionnaire study of self-experienced adverse reactions to food, 27% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) reported intolerance to various foods and CM in particular. After rectal CM challenge performed in RA patients (n=27), strong mucosal reactivity to CM was observed in a few patients and a moderate increase in 23%. After gluten challenge, a moderate increase in mucosal reactivity was found in 35% of patients. No correlation to self-perceived intolerance and mucosal reactivity measured with NO and MPO was seen.Inflammation of the gut is a prominent feature of spondyloarthropathies (SpA). After rectal challenges with CM protein and gluten, an increase in rectal NO production was seen in 26% and 19% respectively (p<0.001). An increase in the mucosal release of MPO as a sign of neutrophil activation was seen in the CM- and gluten-sensitive patients. NO production in SpA patients was more enhanced compared with RA and pSS patients and could contribute to the increased barrier permeability described in SpA patients.
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