Lymphocyte subpopulations in peripheral blood (PBL) and intestinal mucosa (IML) of 10 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) were compared with those of 11 non-IBD controls. PBL were separated on Ficoll/hypaque gradients, and IML were isolated by incubation in dithiothreitol, EDTA, and collagenase. These methods yielded cells of good viability and with intact HLA A and B-antigens. T-cells, identified by neuraminidase-treated sheep RBC rosettes and non-specific esterase staining, comprised approximately 91% of the IML from normal mucosa of all groups. B-cells, identified by erythrocyte-antibody-complement rosettes and surface immunoglobulins, were only 7% of these IML populations. Cell yields were two-fold or more greater from abnormal IBD mucosa, with T-cells ranging from 55 to 95% and B-cells from 2 to 36%. The percentage of Fc receptor bearing cells was low in all specimens. By these methods, T-lymphocytes predominated in intestinal mucosa of both IBD and non-IBD patients, but there is marked increase in the percentage of B-cells isolated from abnormal mucosa in IBD.
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