A gut feeling for joint inflammation - using coeliac disease to understand rheumatoid arthritis

Trends Immunol. 2006 Apr;27(4):188-94. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2006.02.006. Epub 2006 Mar 10.


Major advances have been made in the molecular understanding of coeliac disease, initiated by the identification of intestinal gluten-reactive T cells. It is now clear that this common intestinal disorder, which is precipitated by the ingestion of wheat gluten, is mediated by DQ2-restricted T cells specific for gluten peptides modified by transglutaminase 2, the same enzyme that is targeted by disease-specific autoantibodies. Interestingly, many of the important features identified in coeliac disease, including HLA association, target organ T-cell infiltration, disease-specific autoantibodies and the distinct targeting of in vivo modified antigens, are also present in rheumatoid arthritis. The experiences from coeliac disease should therefore help identify disease-relevant T-cell epitopes in rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Celiac Disease / immunology*
  • Celiac Disease / metabolism
  • Celiac Disease / pathology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Joints / immunology
  • Joints / pathology*


  • Histocompatibility Antigens