Summer Fun at the NE Revolution

By Francie Kelley, Executive Director, Celiac Kids Connection, Boston Children’s Hospital On June 30th we gathered at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough for our summer social event. We started with at tailgate party; braving the 90+ degree heat. We managed to stay comfortable. The kids (and some adults) played with bubbles, sidewalk chalk, kites and of course we kicked soccer balls … Read More

Thoughts on Celiac Awareness Month – 2018

By Francie Kelley, Executive Director, Celiac Kids Connection As Celiac Awareness Month (May) comes to a close it is time to reflect on the ways Celiac Kids Connection raised awareness. Awareness months are used to increase knowledge of an issue or celebrate something. This year we shared information about celiac disease and celebrated the positive impact this has had on … Read More

Celiac Disease: Biology Basics

Celiac disease is defined as a chronic small intestinal immune-mediated enteropathy precipitated by exposure to dietary gluten in genetically predisposed individuals.1 This one sentence nicely captures the features of celiac disease—but what exactly does it mean? In this section, we explore the biology of celiac disease. We will cover many questions that might come up while learning about celiac disease, … Read More

GluTeen Free: Eating GF When Away From Home

Here are some tips and tricks for eating gluten free when you are at school, a friend’s house or away from home. Bring a toaster: Having a small, cheap, dedicated GF toaster to bring to a friend or family member’s home can be very convenient. GF breakfasts can be difficult when away from home, so bring your favorite GF toaster … Read More

Volunteer Appreciation Week

By Francie Kelley, Executive Director Celiac Kids Connection It is Volunteer Appreciation Week, a time for us to take a moment to thank all the special people who make Celiac Kids Connection great. THANK YOU, it would be impossible to do all that we do without your hard work and dedication. There is nothing that we do that does not … Read More

An Afternoon of Fun and Learning – Our March 2018 Educational Event

By Francie Kelley, Executive Director, Celiac Kids Connection Fifty of our members gathered on March 4th to talk about eating away from home. We had a panel of teens that shared their real life experiences and how they stayed gluten free (GF). Our teens were all very informative and they made us laugh Here are some of the tips they … Read More

What Happens In the Small Intestine?

We have talked about the different types of immune cells, how they mistakenly recognize gluten, and how they make antibodies to tissue transglutaminase (tTG). But these things don’t happen in isolation—several things must happen at the same time for damage to the small intestine to occur. First, gluten must be eaten and digested in the stomach and small intestine. Since … Read More

How Are B Cells Involved in Celiac Disease?

In the 1980s, researchers discovered that patients with celiac disease had high levels of antibodies that recognized gliadin (a protein in gluten) in their small intestine.1 Patients with celiac disease were also found to have auto-reactive antibodies—that is, antibodies that recognize normal “self” proteins. Researchers developed a blood test that was able to detect IgA antibodies that recognized a type of … Read More

B Cells

We’ve talked a lot about T cells and MHC proteins and how they recognize gluten. But B cells also play a key role in celiac disease. Like T cells, B cells have receptors (B cell receptor or BCR) on their surfaces that recognize specific pathogens. Unlike T cells, they do not need antigen presenting cells to display a pathogen peptide … Read More

What Role Does Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG) Play in Celiac Disease?

In addition to HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 haplotypes, an enzyme called tissue transglutaminase or tTG (also known as transglutaminase 2 or TG2) also influences how gliadin peptides are presented to CD4+ T cells. You may have heard of tTG because of the tTG-IgA test, which is used by many doctors when testing for celiac disease.1  tTG is a multifunctional enzyme—a protein … Read More