Proteins specifically hyperexpressed in a coeliac disease patient with aberrant T cells

V. De Re, M. P. Simula, L. Caggiari, N. Orzes, M. Spina, A. Da Ponte, L. De Appollonia, R. Dolcetti, V. Canzonieri, R. Cannizzaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An aberrant T cell population is the basis for diagnosis of refractory coeliac disease and determines the risk of enteropathy-associated T cell lymphoma. This disease is serious with a poor survival. Pathogenetic mechanisms sustaining aberrant T cell proliferation remain unknown. Recently, alemtuzumab has been proposed as a promising new approach to treat these patients. Only few single cases have been tested at present; nevertheless, in all the cases a clinical improvement was observed. However, whether intraepithelial lymphocytes have been targeted effectively by alemtuzumab is still debated. This study reports, using two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D DIGE), hyperexpressed proteins associated specifically with aberrant T cells found in a patient with coeliac disease by comparison of the protein expression of this sample with that of patients with coeliac disease and polyclonal T cells or with control subjects. The data demonstrated a significantly higher expression of IgM, apolipoprotein C-III and Charcot-Leyden crystal proteins in a duodenal biopsy specimen of the patient with clonal T cells compared with that of other patients. These preliminary results allow hypothesizing different clinical effects of alemtuzumab in patients with coeliac disease and aberrant T cell proliferation, because as well as the probable effect on T cells, alemtuzumab could exert its effect by acting on inflammatory associated CD52+ IgM+ B cells and eosinophil cells, known to produce IgM and Charcot-Leyden crystal proteins, that we demonstrated to be altered in this patient. The results also emphasize the possible association of apolipoprotein with aberrant T cell proliferation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-409
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Coeliac disease
  • Immunology
  • MALDI-TOF analysis
  • Protein profile
  • T cell receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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