HLA-DR3-DQ2 mice do not develop ataxia in the presence of high titre anti-gliadin antibodies

Volga Tarlac, Louise Kelly, Nupur Nag, Judith Allen-Graham, Robert P Anderson, Elsdon Storey

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, it has been suggested that anti-gliadin antibodies (aGAb) may produce gluten ataxia , even in the absence of celiac disease enteropathy. aGAb are reportedly present in 12-50 of patients with sporadic ataxia, but also in 12 of the general population, such that the importance of aGAb as a cause of sporadic ataxia is not conclusively settled. We aimed to determine whether mice transgenic for HLA-DR3-DQ2 and immunised with gliadin to achieve high titres of aGAb would develop ataxia and/or cerebellar damage. From 6 weeks of age, HLA-DR3-DQ2 transgenic mice were immunised fortnightly with gliadin (n = 10) or a saline control (n = 6) in adjuvant. Serum titres were measured by aGAb enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. At 24 weeks of age, mice were tested for locomotor function using the accelerating rotarod, ledged beam, ink-paw gait, and several neurological severity score subtests. Brains were then collected and processed for immunohistochemistry. Sections were analysed for lymphocytic infiltration, changes in morphology and Purkinje cell (PC) dendritic volume and the number of PCs counted via unbiased stereology. Gliadin-immunised mice developed high aGAb titres while controls did not. There was no statistically significant difference between the gliadin and sham-immunised HLA-DR3-DQ2 mice on any of the tests of motor coordination, in lymphocytic infiltration, PC number or in dendritic volume. High levels of aGAb are not sufficient to produce ataxia or cerebellar damage in HLA-DR3-DQ2 transgenic mice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370 - 376
Number of pages7
JournalThe Cerebellum
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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