Gluten-free diet in psoriasis patients with antibodies to gliadin results in decreased expression of tissue transglutaminase and fewer Ki67+ cells in the dermis

Acta Derm Venereol. 2003;83(6):425-9. doi: 10.1080/00015550310015022.


Previous studies have shown that 16% of patients with psoriasis vulgaris have IgA and/or IgG antibodies to gliadin, but few have antibodies to endomysium. The increase in duodenal intraepithelial lymphocytes was mild. Still, highly significant clinical improvement was observed after 3 months on a gluten-free diet. This study surveys certain immunohistological aspects of involved and non-involved skin in 28 AGA-positive psoriasis patients before and after 3 months of a gluten-free diet. Staining was performed for CD4+ T lymphocytes, Langerhans' cells, endothelium, proliferating (Ki67) cells and tissue transglutaminase. In the entire group of patients, as well as in those on a gluten-free diet as the only treatment, Ki67 + cells in involved dermis were highly significantly decreased after the diet. There was a significant decrease in Ki67 + cells even in patients without increased intraepithelial lymphocytes. Tissue transglutaminase was highly overexpressed in involved skin in the papillary endothelium, and decreased by 50% after gluten-free diet. The possible role of tissue transglutaminase in the pathogenesis of psoriasis needs further investigation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / analysis
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / immunology*
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epidermal Cells
  • Epidermis / physiology
  • Female
  • Gliadin / immunology*
  • Gliadin / metabolism
  • Glutens
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ki-67 Antigen / analysis
  • Ki-67 Antigen / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Probability
  • Psoriasis / diet therapy*
  • Psoriasis / immunology
  • Psoriasis / pathology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Transglutaminases / analysis
  • Transglutaminases / metabolism*


  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Glutens
  • Gliadin
  • Transglutaminases