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

Scand J Immunol. 1995 Jul;42(1):166-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.1995.tb03640.x.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Celiac Disease / genetics*
  • Celiac Disease / immunology
  • Clone Cells
  • Epithelium
  • Epitopes
  • Gliadin / immunology*
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / chemistry*
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / immunology
  • HLA-DR Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Transfection / genetics


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Epitopes
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • HLA-DQ2 antigen
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Gliadin