To elucidate the role of innate immune responses in celiac disease, we investigated the effect of gliadin on blood monocytes from patients with celiac disease. Gliadin induced substantial TNF-α and IL-8 production by monocytes from patients with active celiac disease, lower levels by monocytes from patients with inactive celiac disease, and even lower levels by monocytes from healthy donors. In healthy donor monocytes gliadin induced IL-8 from monocytes expressing HLA-DQ2 and increased monocyte expression of the costimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86, the dendritic cell marker CD83, and the activation marker CD40. Gliadin also increased DNA binding activity of NF-κB p50 and p65 subunits in monocytes from celiac patients, and NF-κB inhibitors reduced both DNA binding activity and cytokine production. Thus, gliadin activation of HLA-DQ2+ monocytes leading to chemokine and proinflammatory cytokine production may contribute to the host innate immune response in celiac disease.