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Immunol Invest. 1989 Jan-May;18(1-4):499-508.

Immunopathogenesis of celiac disease.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093.


The immunopathogenesis of celiac disease requires interactions between genetic, environmental and immunologic factors. Genes within the class II region of the major histocompatibility complex (HLA-D region) represent a major component contributing to disease susceptibility. Structural studies of genes within the HLA-D region have shown that the class II HLA haplotype associated with celiac disease is extended, and includes not only the HLA-DR and DQ subregions, but also the HLA-DP subregion. The celiac disease-associated haplotype is marked in the HLA-DP subregion by a polymorphic 4 kilobase Rsa I genomic fragment derived from a DP beta chain. Other studies suggest that, in addition to dietary gliadins, a viral protein may play a role in the pathogenesis of celiac disease, perhaps by virtue of immunologic cross reactivity between antigenic determinant shared by the viral protein and alpha gliadins.

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