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J Immunol. 2003 Mar 1;170(5):2719-26.

Celiac disease association with CD8+ T cell responses: identification of a novel gliadin-derived HLA-A2-restricted epitope.

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  • 1Institute of Food Science and Technology, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Avellino, Italy. cgianfrani@isa.av.cnr.it


One of the diagnostic hallmarks of the histological lesions associated with celiac disease is the extensive infiltration of the small intestinal epithelium by CD8(+) T cells of unknown Ag specificity. In this study, we report recognition of the gliadin-derived peptide (A-gliadin 123-132) by CD8(+) T lymphocytes from celiac patients. A-gliadin 123-132-specific IFN-gamma production and cytotoxic activity were detected in PBMCs derived from patients on gluten-free diet, but not from either celiac patients on gluten-containing diet or healthy controls. In contrast, A-gliadin 123-132-specific cells were isolated from small intestine biopsies of patients on either gluten-free or gluten-containing diets. Short-term T cell lines derived from the small intestinal mucosa and specific for the 123-132 epitope recognized human APC pulsed with either whole recombinant alpha-gliadin or a partial pepsin-trypsin gliadin digest. Finally, we speculate on a possible mechanism leading to processing and presentation of class I-restricted gliadin-derived epitopes in celiac disease patients.

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