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Scand J Immunol. 1995 Jul;42(1):166-70.

Gliadin-specific T cell responses in peripheral blood of healthy individuals involve T cells restricted by the coeliac disease associated DQ2 heterodimer.

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Institute of Transplantation Immunology, University of Oslo, Norway.


Coeliac disease (CD) is probably caused by an abnormal immune response towards wheat gliadin in the small intestine. We found that gliadin-specific T cells from the small intestinal mucosa of HLA-DQ2 positive CD patients were almost exclusively restricted by the disease-associated DQ2 molecule. In the peripheral blood of CD patients, a large proportion of gliadin-specific T cells were found to be restricted by DQ molecules, including DQ2, but many were instead restricted by DR or DP molecules of the patient. We have now investigated gliadin-specific T cell responses in peripheral blood from healthy individuals. Four of 20 persons tested had strong in vitro responses and were used as donors for gliadin-specific T cell clones. We found gliadin-specific T cells restricted by the CD-associated DQ2 molecule in peripheral blood for two of these four individuals. It is the presence of such T cells also in the small intestinal mucosa which seems typical of CD.

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