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How Can Zonulin Help You Fight Diabetes, Celiac, And Many Other Autoimmune Disorders?


Eagle Biosciences, Inc. has teamed up once again with Immundiagnostik to bring it's customers a series of zonulin ELISA's. These ELISA's are used for the quantitative determination of zonulin in serum or stool samples. 

Zonulin is a novel human protein analogue to the zonula occludens toxin derived from Vibrio cholerae which participates in tight junctions between cells of the wall of the digestive tract. Zonulin binds to a specific receptor on the surface of intestinal epithelia and triggers a cascade of biochemical events which induces tight junction disassembly and a subsequent permeability increase of the intestinal epithelia, allowing some substances to pass through and activate immune reactions.

Dr. Fasano and his co-workers found out that the zonulin-zonulin-receptor-system is more activated in celiac disease and type 1 diabetes mellitus patients. Patients with active celiac disease showed higher levels of zonulin and anti-zonulin antibodies compared to non-celiac patients and patients in remission, who were on a glutenfree diet. 

Concerning the autoimmune type 1 diabetes, in experiments with rats it could be demonstrated that elevated zonulin levels as well as increased intestinal permeability precede a type 1 diabetes disease. Conversely, type 1 diabetes could be prevented by inhibition of zonulin in animal experiments.

In addition, it was reported that many people who suffer from celiac disease also suffer from other autoimmune disorders. It is suggested that increased levels of zonulin are a contributing factor to the development of celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders such as insulin dependent diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Serum and Stool Zonulin ELISA's are available now! 


1. Fasano, A, T Not, W Wang, S Uzzau, I Berti, A Tommasini, and S E Goldblum. 2000. “Zonulin, a Newly Discovered Modulator of Intestinal Permeability, and Its Expression in Coeliac Disease.” Lancet 355 (9214) (April 29): 1518–9. doi:10.1016/S0140- 6736(00)02169-3. 

2. Wang, W, S Uzzau, S E Goldblum, and A Fasano. 2000. “Human Zonulin, a Potential Modulator of Intestinal Tight Junctions.” Journal of Cell Science 113 Pt 24 (December): 4435–40. 

3. Fasano, A. 2001. “Intestinal Zonulin: Open Sesame!” Gut 49 (2) (August): 159–62. 

4. Freemark, Michael, and Lynne L Levitsky. 2003. “Screening for Celiac Disease in Children with Type 1 Diabetes: Two Views of the Controversy.” Diabetes Care 26 (6) (June): 1932–9. Manual IDK® Zonulin ELISA 24 

5. Lazzarotto, Francesca, Daniela Basso, Mario Plebani, Alessandro Moscon, Renato Zanchetta, and Corrado Betterle. 2003. “Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care 26 (1) (January): 248–9. 

6. Watts, Tammara, Irene Berti, Anna Sapone, Tania Gerarduzzi, Tarcisio Not, Ronald Zielke, and Alessio Fasano. 2005. “Role of the Intestinal Tight Junction Modulator Zonulin in the Pathogenesis of Type I Diabetes in BB Diabetic-Prone Rats.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102 (8) (February 22): 2916–21. doi:10.1073/pnas.0500178102. 

7. De Magistris, Maria Teresa. 2006. “Zonula Occludens Toxin as a New Promising Adjuvant for Mucosal Vaccines.” Vaccine 24 Suppl 2 (April 12): S2–60–1. 

8. Sapone, Anna, Laura de Magistris, Michelle Pietzak, Maria G Clemente, Amit Tripathi, Francesco Cucca, Rosanna Lampis, et al. 2006. “Zonulin Upregulation Is Associated with Increased Gut Permeability in Subjects with Type 1 Diabetes and Their Relatives.” Diabetes 55 (5) (May 1): 1443–9. doi:55/5/1443 [pii]. 

9. Thomas, Karen E, Anna Sapone, Alessio Fasano, and Stefanie N Vogel. 2006. “Gliadin Stimulation of Murine Macrophage Inflammatory Gene Expression and Intestinal Permeability Are MyD88-Dependent: Role of the Innate Immune Response in Celiac Disease.” Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 176 (4) (February 15): 2512–21.

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