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Author: Auricchio S; De Ritis G; De Vincenzi M; Silano V. Source: J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 1985 Dec, 4:6, 923-30. This paper is a critical appraisal of current theories on the mechanisms of toxicity of wheat and other cereals in celiac disease and some related enteropathies. The peptidase deficiency, primary immune defect, and gluten-lectin theories on celiac disease are examined and critically discussed on the basis of the relevant data available in 88 references. Special attention has been paid in this review to the nature of the cereal components triggering the appearance of toxic symptoms and signs in celiac disease as well as to underlying action mechanisms. The gluten-lectin theory is the one best able to explain celiac disease. It also explains some secondary intolerance that may occur in temporarily predisposed individuals as a consequence to viral hepatitis and intestinal infections, as well as the occurrence of intestinal lesions in healthy subjects that are administered very high amounts of gluten.