Gut Microbiota and Celiac Disease

Dig Dis Sci. 2016 Jun;61(6):1461-72. doi: 10.1007/s10620-015-4020-2. Epub 2016 Jan 2.


Recent evidence regarding celiac disease has increasingly shown the role of innate immunity in triggering the immune response by stimulating the adaptive immune response and by mucosal damage. The interaction between the gut microbiota and the mucosal wall is mediated by the same receptors which can activate innate immunity. Thus, changes in gut microbiota may lead to activation of this inflammatory pathway. This paper is a review of the current knowledge regarding the relationship between celiac disease and gut microbiota. In fact, patients with celiac disease have a reduction in beneficial species and an increase in those potentially pathogenic as compared to healthy subjects. This dysbiosis is reduced, but might still remain, after a gluten-free diet. Thus, gut microbiota could play a significant role in the pathogenesis of celiac disease, as described by studies which link dysbiosis with the inflammatory milieu in celiac patients. The use of probiotics seems to reduce the inflammatory response and restore a normal proportion of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Additional evidence is needed in order to better understand the role of gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of celiac disease, and the clinical impact and therapeutic use of probiotics in this setting.

Keywords: Celiac disease; Dysbiosis; Gluten-free diet; Gut microbiota; Probiotic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Celiac Disease / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation