International Journal of Celiac Disease
ISSN (Print): 2334-3427 ISSN (Online): 2334-3486 Website: Editor-in-chief: Samasca Gabriel
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International Journal of Celiac Disease. 2019, 7(3), 69-73
DOI: 10.12691/ijcd-7-3-3
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Topographic Lectin Mapping of the Epithelial Cell Surface in Normal Intestine and Celiac Disease

Hugh James Freeman1,

1Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Pub. Date: December 04, 2019

Cite this paper:
Hugh James Freeman. Topographic Lectin Mapping of the Epithelial Cell Surface in Normal Intestine and Celiac Disease. International Journal of Celiac Disease. 2019; 7(3):69-73. doi: 10.12691/ijcd-7-3-3


The etiology and pathogenesis of celiac disease remains obscure but remains the focus of intense research investigation. It is generally believed to be an immune-mediated small intestinal mucosal disorder that can cause diarrhea, impaired nutrient assimilation and weight loss. A key component in this process occurs at the intestinal epithelial cell surface that is closely associated with the luminal intestinal microbiome. Here, epithelial membrane glycoproteins and glycolipids are present along with adsorbed molecules that permit interaction with the intestinal microbiome. In recent years, use of specific sugar residue seeking proteins, lectins, that can be found in the diet have been employed topographically to map the small intestinal cell surface and goblet cell secretory mucins to further elucidate the structure and function of this tissue. Evidence has accumulated to indicate that this microenvironment may be critically important in further understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of celiac disease and other sprue-like intestinal disorders.

lectins celiac disease lectin hypothesis glycoproteins microbiome

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