The leucocyte migration inhibition (LMI) test was used as an indicator of cell mediated immunity to gluten fraction III in 30 healthy controls and 58 patients with adult coeliac disease and the results related to HLA status and duration of treatment with a gluten-free diet. HLA-B8 controls showed significantly lower leucocyte migration indices, indicating greater immune response, than non-HLA B8 controls. Untreated coeliacs showed no difference from HLA-B8 controls. There was no difference between results from HLA-B8 and non-HLA-B8 coeliacs. Leucocyte migration was even lower in coeliacs early in treatment but rose after treatment for over one year. These results may reflect an immune response gene for gluten in linkage disequilibrium with HLA-B8. The increased immune response to gluten as measured in this test cannot be the sole factor in aetiology of coeliac disease. Furthermore, it is necessary to re-evaluate earlier results of cell-mediated immunity in coeliac disease with reference to HLA status of the controls.
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