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Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;28(3):272-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2009.03.013. Epub 2009 Apr 23.

T-cell response to different cultivars of farro wheat, Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccum, in celiac disease patients.

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Division of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health, National Institute of Health, Viale Regina Elena 299, Rome, Italy.



Celiac disease is a gluten sensitive disorder that occurs in genetically susceptible individuals. The present study deals with variation in the immune response of mucosal T-cells from celiac children to prolamins extracted from nine landraces of farro wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccum) with contrasting storage protein compositions.


The prolamin fraction from nine 'dicoccum' wheat landraces was subjected to peptic-tryptic digestion and supplied to T-cells from mucosal explants of four celiac patients. Immune reactions in terms of cell proliferation and INF-gamma secretion by intestinal T lymphocytes were then determined.


T-cell lines exposed to digested prolamins from landraces L5563, L5558 and L5540 showed negligible proliferative responses and released INF-gamma amounts similar to that of untreated control cells. By contrast, landraces Ersa 6, Ersa 8, Leonessa 4 and Leonessa 5 proved to be very active in triggering the immune responses, whereas landraces Filosini and Prometeo exhibited an intermediate behavior. One-dimensional fractionations by A-PAGE or SDS-PAGE revealed distinctive prolamin patterns amongst the landraces analysed.


'Dicoccum' wheat represents a heterogeneous species showing a wide variation in both prolamin composition and T-cell immunological activation, some 'dicoccum' landraces being poor in or devoid of noxious gluten proteins.

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