Serum IL-8 in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis is produced in response to dietary gluten.
Patients with dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) have a gluten-sensitive enteropathy and while on gluten-containing diets have elevated levels of serum IL-8. We hypothesized that the mucosal immune response to gluten is responsible for the elevated serum IL-8. Six DH patients were studied while on a gluten-free diet (GFD), whereas four continued on a normal diet. Patients were followed for a mean 2.2 years and serum IL-8 was analyzed. Small bowel biopsies from five DH patients on normal diets, two DH patients on GFD, and six subjects with no small bowel abnormalities were analyzed for IL-8 mRNA. Serum IL-8 levels normalized in five of six patients on GFD and decreased in one, whereas serum IL-8 levels showed no statistically significant change in DH patients on normal diets. Small bowel biopsies from DH patients on normal diets had increased expression of IL-8 mRNA compared to normal subjects, whereas patients on a GFD showed no significant increase in small bowel mRNA. No significant IL-8 mRNA was detected in normal skin biopsies from patients with DH. These observations suggest that the IL-8 in the serum of patients with DH originates from the small bowel as a mucosal immune response to gluten ingestion.
Hall, RP; Benbenisty, KM; Mickle, C; Takeuchi, F; Streilein, RD
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