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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Aug 18;95(17):10050-4.

Small intestinal T cells of celiac disease patients recognize a natural pepsin fragment of gliadin.

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Department of Immunohaematology and Bloodbank, Leiden University Medical Center, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.


Celiac disease is a common severe intestinal disease resulting from intolerance to dietary wheat gluten and related proteins. The large majority of patients expresses the HLA-DQ2 and/or DQ8 molecules, and gluten-specific HLA-DQ-restricted T cells have been found at the site of the lesion in the gut. The nature of peptides that are recognized by such T cells, however, has been unclear so far. We now report the identification of a gliadin-derived epitope that dominantly is recognized by intestinal gluten-specific HLA-DQ8-restricted T cells. The characterization of such epitopes is a key step toward the development of strategies to interfere in mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of celiac disease.

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