Mucin Expression in the Small Bowel of Celiac Disease: A Systematic Review

Yaron Niv, Theodore Rokkas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Mucins, heavily glycosylated glycoproteins, are synthesized by mucosal surfaces and play an important role in healthy and malignant states. Changes in mucin synthesis, expression, and secretion may be a primary event or may be secondary to inflammation and carcinogenesis. Objectives: To assess current knowledge of mucin expression in the small bowel of celiac disease (CD] patients and to determine possible associations between mucin profile and gluten-free diet. Method: Medical literature searches of articles in English were conducted using the terms mucin and celiac. Observational studies were included. Pooled odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Results: Of 31 articles initially generated by a literature search, 4 observational studies that fulfilled the inclusion criteria remained eligible for meta-analysis. These studies included 182 patients and 148 controls from four countries (Finland, Japan, Sweden, United States). Mucin expression was significantly increased in small bowel mucosa of CD patients than in normal small bowel mucosa (odds ratio [OR] 7.974, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] (1.599-39.763), P = 0.011] (random-effect model). Heterogeneity was significant: Q = 35.743, df (Q) = 7, P < 0.0001, P = 80.416%. ORs for MUC2 and MUC5AC expression in the small bowel mucosa of untreated CD patients were 8.837,95%CI 0.222-352.283, P= 0.247 and 21.429,95%CI 3.883-118.255, P < 0.0001, respectively. Conclusions: Expression of certain mucin genes in the small bowel mucosa of CD patients is increased and may serve as a diagnostic tool and assist in surveillance programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-420
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • celiac disease (CD)
  • gene expression
  • meta-analysis
  • mucin
  • small bowel


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