Background: Gluten-free (GF) diet during pregnancy ameliorates autoimmune diabetes in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse offspring. Due to comorbidity of celiac disease in type 1 diabetes, we hypothesized that GF diet in utero alleviates the humoral and histopathological signs of celiac disease in NOD mice. We aimed to establish the mechanisms behind the diabetes-protective effect of GF diet in utero.
Methods: Breeding pairs of NOD mice were fed a GF or gluten-containing standard (STD) diet until parturition. The offspring were nursed by mothers on STD diet and continued on this diet until ages 4 and 13 weeks. Analyses of serum antitissue transglutaminase (anti-tTG) intestine and islet histology, islet transglutaminase (TG) activity, and cytokine expression in T cells from lymphoid organs were performed.
Results: GF versus STD diet in utero led to reduced serum anti-tTG titre and increased villus-to-crypt ratio at both ages. Insulitis along with systemic and local inflammation were decreased, but islet TG activity was unchanged in 13-week-old GF mice. These mice had unchanged beta-cell volumes, but increased islet numbers throughout the prediabetic period.
Conclusions: Collectively, GF diet administered during pregnancy improves signs of celiac disease and autoimmune diabetes in the offspring. The diabetes-ameliorative effect of GF diet in utero is followed by dampening of inflammation, unchanged beta-cell volume, but increased islet numbers.
Keywords: NOD mice; beta-cell; celiac disease; gluten-free diet; islet of Langerhans; type 1 diabetes.
Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.