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Int Immunol. 2006 May;18(5):713-8. Epub 2006 Mar 28.

New advances in coeliac disease: serum and intestinal expression of HLA-G.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Jaén, Paraje de las Lagunillas s/n, 23071 Jaén, Spain.


Coeliac disease (CD) is a common autoimmune disorder characterized by an immune response to ingested gluten and has a strong HLA association with HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8, but as human HLA-DQ risk factors do not explain the entire genetic susceptibility to gluten intolerance. Our aim was to investigate whether HLA-G, a gene located in the MHC class I region, and with important role in the induction of immunotolerance, may contribute to CD susceptibility. We demonstrated the expression of soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) forms in intestinal biopsy and in serum of patients with CD. Indeed, all patients tested showed a positive expression of HLA-G in intestinal mucosa with different grade of immunoreaction. The serum levels of sHLA-G found in coeliac patients depend on the association with other diseases of autoimmune nature or genetics, and also depend on the transgressions in the diet with gluten ingested. The enhancer expression of sHLA-G in CD could be due as part of a mechanism to try restore the tolerance process towards oral antigens in a disease caused by loss of tolerance to dietary antigens and counteract the inflammation. In summary, in this paper, we demonstrate the association of CD with sHLA-G expression.

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