Referents: Dr. Sergio Comincini, Dr. Federico Manai
Celiac disease (CD) is a serious immune-mediate disorder that affects genetically predisposed individuals where the ingestion of gluten leads to several intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms. CD is associated with several comorbidities and untreated or undiagnosed CD is characterized by severe long-term health effects. Particularly, CD patients have a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disorder and intestinal cancers. Currently, the only available treatment for CD is lifelong adherence to gluten-free diet (GFD). Furthermore, although adherence to GFD leads to an improvement in CD symptoms, this diet has limitations in nutrient values (e.g, micronutrient deficiency, lack of fibers and excess of fats) and requires vigilant dietary monitoring. The understanding of the role of enteric glia cells (EGCs) in CD pathogenesis might represent a step toward in the finding of new therapeutic strategies. In the last decades, enteric glia is emerging as a protagonist in gut homeostasis, playing an important role in inflammation, immunity, antigen presentation, and mucosal healing. Although the role of enteric glia in inflammatory bowel diseases is beginning to be elucidated, little is known about its role in CD pathogenesis. Of note, experimental approaches aimed at targeting mucosal healing through enteric glia modulation might represent a promising strategy in CD treatment. Basing on these considerations, the goal of this research is to elucidate the role of enteric glia cells in CD pathogenesis and identify pre-clinical approaches to modulate mucosal healing in CD in vitro models.
- Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology, TARGID, KU Leuven, Belgium, prof. Gianluca Matteoli
- Laboratory of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, Department of Biology and Biotechnology “L. Spallanzani”, prof. Marco Biggiogera;
- Laboratory of General Physiology, Department of Biology and Biotechnology “L. Spallanzani”, prof. Francesco Moccia;
- Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Biology and Biotechnology “L. Spallanzani”, prof. Maurizia Dossena;
- Laboratory of Cytogenetics, Department of Biology and Biotechnology “L. Spallanzani”, prof. Elena Raimondi