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Discovery Could Lead To Development Of Vaccine To Treat Celiac Disease

October 11, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A study by an international team of researchers has visually determined how T-cells of the immune system interact with gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley that causes celiac disease. A chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the digestive process of the small intestine, the disease affects approximately 1 in 133 people. The researchers said this is the first time the intricacies of the interaction between gluten and two proteins that initiate immune responses have been visualized at a sub-molecular level. The finding will help the company ImmusanT develop a blood test and a therapeutic vaccine, Nexvax2, that could restore immune tolerance to gluten and allow patients to again include gluten in their diet.
Sophie E. Broughton et al., "Biased T Cell Receptor Usage Directed against Human Leukocyte Antigen DQ8-Restricted Gliadin Peptides Is Associated with Celiac Disease", Immunity, October 11, 2012, © Elsevier, Inc.
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