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Eur J Nutr. 2014 Aug;53(5):1177-86. doi: 10.1007/s00394-013-0617-4. Epub 2013 Nov 19.

Diversity of oat varieties in eliciting the early inflammatory events in celiac disease.

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Unit of Human Nutrition and Health, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Istituto Superiore di Sanità , Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161, Rome, Italy,



Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune enteropathy, triggered by dietary gluten. The only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet. Oats are included in the list of gluten-free ingredients by European Regulation, but the safety of oats in CD is still a matter of debate. The present study examined the capability of different oat cultivars of activating the gliadin-induced transglutaminase-2 (TG2)-dependent events in some in vitro models of CD. In addition, we compared this capability with the electrophoresis pattern of peptic-tryptic digests of the proteins of the oat cultivars.


K562(S) cells agglutination, transepithelial electrical resistance of T84-cell monolayers, intracellular levels of TG2 and phosphorylated form of protein 42-44 in T84 cells were the early gliadin-dependent events studied.


The results showed that the Nave oat cultivar elicited these events, whereas Irina and Potenza varieties did not. The ability of a cultivar to activate the above-described events was associated with the electrophoretic pattern of oat proteins and their reactivity to anti-gliadin antibodies.


We found significant differences among oat cultivars in eliciting the TG2-mediated events of CD inflammation. Therefore, the safety of an oat cultivar in CD might be screened in vitro by means of biochemical and biological assays, before starting a clinical trial to definitely assess its safety.

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