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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.


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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