Background: Celiac disease (CD) is a complex genetic disorder of the small intestine resulting from aberrant cellular responses to gluten peptides. It may affect as much as 1% of the Western population and the only treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet. Allelic variants of the HLA-DQ locus, coding for the HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 molecules, contribute to ∼ 40% of CD etiology, whereas other genes, such as MYO9B, CTLA4, IL2, IL21, PARD3 and MAGI2, have only a modest effect. Most of these genes have shown varied association among different populations and an overlap with other autoimmune or inflammatory disorders, indicating that such disorders may share common pathways.
Objectives: In this review, a molecular approach into diagnostics of celiac disease is shown.
Conclusions: Genome-wide association studies will allow more genes to be identified, and knowing how risk variants combine will help to predict better the risk for the individual. HLA typing can already be used to identify high-risk individuals.
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