Final Report Summary - CD-LINK (Celiac disease: from lincRNAs to disease mechanism)
Celiac disease, affecting some 1% of the Western population, is an intestinal inflammatory disease triggered by dietary gluten. Celiac disease is a clear genetic disorder caused by at least 40 different genetic risk factors. In this project we enhanced our understanding of how these genetic risk factors contribute to disease. Most of them have an affect on the function of immune cells in the gut. To better understand what is deregulated in celiac disease we compared - in deep detail - normal immune cells with the immune cells of celiac disease patients. Additionally, we discovered that not only genetic factors are important in the deregulated response of celiac disease immune cells (e.g. to gluten), but that also non-genetic factors are important (e.g. the environment we are exposed to and the 500 to 1000 different types of bacteria living in the gut (the microbiome)). To understand the relationship between genetic factors, immune cells and the microbiome we aim to develop a so-called gut-on-a-chip system using cells and biomaterials from celiac disease patients. In the future, this system will also allow us to test new treatments for celiac disease.