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  1. Ethical Science News

  2. May 15, 2019

3D Human Gut Aids Celiac Disease Research

Study in a Sentence:

Scientists have developed a novel human-gut organoid using cells from patients with and without celiac disease to explore how the intestinal epithelium and microbiota-derived molecules respond to gluten.

Healthy for Humans:

The intestinal epithelium plays a critical role in the development of celiac disease and other autoimmune diseases, and it provides a physical barrier against harmful substances. Using the human gut derived-organoid model, researchers observed that the organoids expressed the same genetic markers found in tissue of humans with celiac disease. This gene expression replicates the changes that occur when the tissues of patients with celiac disease are exposed to gluten. Researchers validated the use of in vitro patient-derived organoids to model the development of celiac disease for applications in further study of treatments and prevention.

Redefining Research:

Until now studying celiac disease pathogenesis has been limited due to the lack of models that can replicate the human response to gluten. Findings in this study signify a major shift in celiac disease research. Researchers will continue the development and implementation of high-throughput drug screenings to identify new treatments and in the pursuit of personalized medicine.


Freire R, Ingano L, Serena G, et al. Human gut derived-organoids provide model to study gluten response and effects of microbiota-derived molecules in celiac disease. Scientific Reports. 2019;9.

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