Different profiles of wheat antigens are recognised by patients suffering from coeliac disease and IgE-mediated food allergy.
ABSTRACT Dietary intake of wheat can cause two distinct immunologically mediated diseases with severe gastrointestinal manifestations, coeliac disease (CD) and IgE-mediated food allergy. The pathomechanisms underlying these diseases are different, but the profile of the target antigens in wheat has not been compared for the two diseases.
We compared IgA- and IgE-reactive antigens in wheat using sera from patients with coeliac disease (n = 35) and food allergy to wheat (n = 16) by one- and two-dimensional immunoblotting. Furthermore, the IgG subclass (IgG1-IgG4) reactivity to wheat antigens was studied by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
IgA antibodies from CD patients and IgE antibodies from allergic patients recognised distinct profiles of wheat antigens. Furthermore, the IgG subclass responses to wheat antigens were different in CD and wheat-allergic patients.
This study thus demonstrates that wheat contains antigens/epitopes which are preferentially recognised by CD patients, whereas others elicit IgE-mediated food allergy. This finding suggests that the nature of a food antigen may influence the quality of the pathological immune response in the gut and has implications for the diagnosis and therapy of hypersensitivity to wheat.