Anti-gliadin antibodies in patients with celiac disease cross-react with enterocytes and human calreticulin

Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1997 Dec;85(3):289-96. doi: 10.1006/clin.1997.4429.


One of the characteristic features of celiac disease is an increase in anti-gliadin antibodies (Abs). Recently we found that some of the monoclonal Abs to gliadin cross-react with molecules on rat enterocytes. One of these cross-reacting molecules was identified as rat calreticulin. This study shows that the levels of serum IgA Abs to gliadin, rat, and human enterocytes; purified enterocyte antigens; and calreticulin in sera from patients with active disease were significantly higher than in patients on a gluten-free diet and healthy controls (P < 0.001). Anti-gliadin Abs were isolated by affinity chromatography from the sera of six active celiac patients. The reactivity of these anti-gliadin Abs was demonstrated to be significantly higher (P < 0.05) with human enterocytes and human calreticulin than with other antigens tested. Furthermore, using isolated patients' anti-gliadin Abs bound to Sepharose 2B, two main proteins of molecular mass 62 and 66 kDa were purified from a lysate of human enterocytes. The 62-kDa enterocyte antigen was identified as human calreticulin. These findings suggest that anti-gliadin Abs may play a pathogenic role in celiac disease by cross-reacting with enterocytes. Calreticulin in enterocytes may be one of the putative targets for autoimmune reactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / blood*
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Antigens / isolation & purification
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / immunology*
  • Calreticulin
  • Celiac Disease / blood
  • Celiac Disease / immunology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross Reactions
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Gliadin / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin A / isolation & purification
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Ribonucleoproteins / immunology*


  • Antibodies
  • Antigens
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Calreticulin
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Gliadin