Gluten activation of peripheral blood T cells induces a Th0-like cytokine pattern in both coeliac patients and controls

Clin Exp Immunol. 1996 Feb;103(2):295-303. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2249.1996.d01-611.x.


Coeliac disease is apparently a T cell-mediated disease, precipitated in the proximal small intestine of susceptible individuals by gluten. Preferential presentation of gluten peptides most probably takes place in coeliac mucosa by the disease-associated HLA-DQ2 and -DQ8 molecules. In peripheral blood, however, both HLA-DR, -DQ and -DP-restricted T cell responses to gluten have been observed. We examined gluten-specific T cell clones (TCC) derived from peripheral blood for cytokine production to see if their profiles were related to the HLA restriction or the disease state of the donors. As previously found for mucosal TCC, the main product was interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), often with additional IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, tumour necrosis factor, and transforming growth factor-beta. Regardless of restriction element or disease state, gluten-reactive TCC from peripheral blood therefore seem to secrete cytokines compatible with a Th0 profile.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clone Cells
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Glutens / immunology*
  • HLA-D Antigens / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases / immunology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Cytokines
  • HLA-D Antigens
  • Glutens