Celiac disease is characterized by the presence of specific autoantibodies targeted against transglutaminase 2 (TG2) in untreated patients' serum and at their production site in the small-bowel mucosa below the basement membrane and around the blood vessels. As these autoantibodies have biological activity in vitro, such as inhibition of angiogenesis, we studied if they might also modulate the endothelial barrier function. Our results show that celiac disease patient autoantibodies increase endothelial permeability for macromolecules, and enhance the binding of lymphocytes to the endothelium and their transendothelial migration when compared to control antibodies in an endothelial cell-based in vitro model. We also demonstrate that these effects are mediated by increased activities of TG2 and RhoA. Since the small bowel mucosal endothelium serves as a "gatekeeper" in inflammatory processes, the disease-specific autoantibodies targeted against TG2 could thus contribute to the pathogenic cascade of celiac disease by increasing blood vessel permeability.
- celiac disease
- disease-specific autoantibodies
- transglutaminase 2
- vascular permeability
- RhoA activation