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Research Article

DNA synthesis by jejunal mucosa in responsive and non-responsive coeliac disease.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 30 April 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:1130
  1. P E Jones,
  2. T J Peters


    DNA synthesis by jejunal biopsy specimen from patients with coeliac disease and from controls was measured by an organ culture technique. The rate of synthesis in the mucosa of patients with untreated coeliac disease was almost eight times that in normal mucosa. Patients whose jejunal mucosa remained flat despite prolonged gluten withdrawal showed a rate of DNA synthesis significantly lower than that of the untreated patients, while those whose jejunal mucosa had responded to gluten withdrawal showed a rate similar to that of normal subjects. Impaired enterocyte production in nonresponsive coeliac disease may be responsible for the failure to regenerate villi after gluten withdrawal.