Mucosal tissue transglutaminase expression in celiac disease

Vincenzo Villanacci, Tarcisio Not, Daniele Sblattero, Tiziano Gaiotto, Fernando Chirdo, Anna Galletti, Gabrio Bassotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tissue transglutaminase (tTG) plays an important role in celiac disease pathogenesis and antibodies to tTG are a diagnostic marker of gluten-sensitive enteropathy. The aim of this study was to investigate the localization of tTG in the duodenal mucosa in control tissues and in different histological stages of celiac disease by using a commercial and a novel set of anti-tTG monoclonal antibodies, to see whether this assessment can be useful for diagnostic purpose. The distribution of tTG was firstly evaluated in 18 untreated celiac patients by using a commercial monoclonal antibody (CUB7402) against tissue transglutaminase enzyme and directed against the loop-core region of the enzyme. Thereafter, in further 30 untreated celiac patients we employed three newly characterized anti-tTG monoclonal antibodies produced against recombinant human-tTG. The epitopes recognized are located in three distinct domains of the protein corresponding to the core, C1 and C2 protein structure. Eleven age- and sex-matched patients with chronic duodenitis acted as controls. All subjects underwent upper endoscopy to obtain biopsy samples from the duodenum. Overall, we found that (i) tTG is equally expressed in CD at different stages of disease; (ii) tTG is expressed, at similar level, in CD and controls with duodenitis. Assessment of tTG level in biopsy samples by immunohistochemical methods is not useful in the clinical diagnostic work-up of CD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-340
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • Celiac disease
  • Duodenal mucosa
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Sprue
  • Tissue transglutaminase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Medicine


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