Immunohistochemical study of lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate and epithelial HLA-DR expression in the rectal and colonic mucosae of children with ulcerative colitis

A. Arató, E. Savilahti, V. M. Tainio, T. Klemola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Lymphocyte subpopulations, plasma cells in the lamina propria, and the expression of HLA-DR antigens on the epithelium of the rectal and colonic mucosae were studied in eight children with ulcerative colitis and 12 control subjects using a panel of monoclonal antisera and the peroxidase technique before any treatment and 3 months later (four patients). The numbers of intraepithe-lial lymphocytes were similar in specimens from patients and controls. The majority of these cells (on average, 73% in the patients and 84% in the controls) were mature CD3+ T cells; among them, CD8+ suppressor-cytotoxic cells were preponderant. In both untreated and treated patients, the numbers of mature T cells in the rectal mucosae were supranormal (1,870 ± 205 cells/mm2, p <0.01 and 1,537 ± 214 cells/mm2, p < 0.05, respectively; controls, 1,105 ± 214 cells/mm2). In rectal specimens from untreated patients, the number of helper T (CD4+) cells was increased (1,094 ± 74 versus 801 ± 74 cells/mm2, p < 0.05); the same specimens had more B-l-posi-tive (CD20+) B cells and pre-B cells (122 ± 21 versus 71 ± 17 cells/mm2, p < 0.05). The number of IgG-containing cells was significantly greater than in the controls (1,058 ± 263 versus 359 ± 64 cells/mm2, p < 0.01), and the commonest isotype in the plasma cells of patients was IgG. The number of IgE-containing cells was also significantly elevated (230 ± 40 versus 95 ± 16 cells/mm2, p < 0.01). The numbers of IgA-and IgM-containing cells were similar in patients and controls. Anti-HLA-DR serum stained neither the surface nor the crypt epithelial cells of 10 controls, whereas it did stain the surface and crypt epithelium in all five colonic specimens, and the surface epithelium of five of eight untreated patients and the crypt epithelium of six of eight untreated patients (for rectal specimens, p < 0.01 and p < 0.001 versus controls, respec-tively). Our findings suggest that maturation of B cells takes place locally in the intestinal mucosae of patients with ulcerative colitis, and a strong systemic type of humoral immune reaction develops in that location.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1989


  • B cells
  • Immunoglobulin-containing cells
  • T cells
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Immunohistochemical study of lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate and epithelial HLA-DR expression in the rectal and colonic mucosae of children with ulcerative colitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this