Clinics and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology, vol.45, no.4, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2020 Elsevier Masson SASBackground and aim: We aim to evaluate serum vitamin D levels, vitamin D receptor (VDR) expression in the intestinal epithelium, and their relation with epithelial barrier proteins and bone metabolism in children with Celiac disease (CD). Methods: Immunostaining for VDR, Claudin-2 and E-cadherin was performed in duodenal samples of the patients with CD and controls. H-score [∑Pi(I + 1)] where I is the intensity score and Pi is the corresponding percentage of stained cells was calculated for each samples. The clinic, laboratory and histopathological findings were compared between patients and controls. Results: Thirty-six patients with CD and age and sex matched 36 controls were enrolled. 25-OH vitamin D levels were significantly lower in the patient group compared to the control group. The mean bone mineral density (BMD) value was significantly lower in patients with vitamin D deficiency compared to patients with normal vitamin D level. H-scores for both VDR and Claudin-2 were significantly lower in patient group when compared to the control group. H-scores for VDR, Claudin-2 and E-cadherin were significantly lower in patients with vitamin D deficiency compared to patients with normal vitamin D level. There were positive correlations between 25-OH vitamin D level and H-scores for VDR, E-cadherin and Claudin-2 in patient group. Conclusions: Our findings showed that vitamin D deficiency is common among children with CD. Expression of VDR and epithelial barrier proteins Claudin-2 and E-cadherin which have important roles in paracellular pathway, was decreased in children with CD in correlation with histological findings of disease severity. Furthermore, deficiency of vitamin D was related to decreased expression of VDR and epithelial barrier proteins E-cadherin and Claudin-2. These findings indicate that paracellular pathway structures responsible for calcium absorption are disturbed in CD which is aggravated by vitamin D deficiency.