The proportional and absolute numbers of circulating thymus dependent lymphocytes (T cells) were reduced in untreated patients with coeliac disease but were normal after treatment with a gluten free diet. There was an inverse correlation between circulating T cell numbers and jejunal intraepithelial lymphocytes. This evidence suggests a possible role for T cells in the pathogenesis of coeliac disease and is a further example of disturbed cell mediated immunity in this condition.
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