What does anyone know about zonulin and its relationship to gut permeability and auto immunity.
asked byEdward41397 (814)
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on December 15, 2011
at 11:51 PM
Zonulin controls the tight junctions, gliadin (in wheat) causes more zonulin to be released, opening the tight junctions and causing things to 'leak' out of the gut. The thing is, in people without celiac disease, for example, the gliadin doesn't cause more zonulin or a leaky gut. In predisposed people however, this can be the final piece to the puzzle of how the disease is set in.
This is a great summary http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16265432
A common denominator in autoimmune diseases is the presence of several pre-existing conditions that lead to an autoimmune process. The first of these conditions is the genetic susceptibility of the host immune system to recognize, and poten- tially misinterpret, an environmental antigen presented within the gastrointestinal tract. The second is that the host must be exposed to the antigen. Finally, the antigen must be presented to the gastrointestinal mucosal immune system following its paracellular passage from the intes- tinal lumen to the gut submucosa; this process is normally prevented by competent tight junctions.........
Taking the above information into consideration, we propose that the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases can therefore now be described by three key points. First, autoimmune diseases involve a miscommunication between innate and adaptive immunity. Second, molecular mimicry or bystander effects alone might not explain entirely the complex events involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Rather, the continuous stimulation by nonself-antigens (environmental triggers) seems to be necessary to perpetuate the process. Contrary to general belief, this concept implies that the autoimmune response can theoretically be stopped and perhaps reversed if the interplay between genes predisposing individuals to the development of autoimmunity and environ- mental triggers is prevented or eliminated. Third, in addition to genetic predisposition and exposure to triggering nonself-antigens, the loss of the protective function of mucosal barriers that interact with the environment (mainly the gastrointestinal and lung mucosa) is necessary for autoimmunity to develop.
Chris masterjohn wrote a great piece about this