By: A. Vojdani, T. O’Bryan and G.H. Kellermann
The immunology of gluten hypersensitivity and celiac disease has been pursued with significant interest in the past 20 years. For the prevention of systemic diseases, most pathogens that gain entry into our bodies must be met with an effective immune response, yet in the gastrointestinal tract it is equally important that commensal bacteria and a diverse collection of dietary proteins and peptides be recognized without eliciting an active immune response or constant activation of the inflammatory pathway. This phenomenon of hyporesponsiveness to food antigens is known as oral tolerance. This oral tolerance to dietary antigens is maintained by three different mechanisms: anergy, cell deletion and immune suppression.