Studies of the morphologic and phenotypic diversity of intraepithelial T cells in human small intestine have shown them to be heterogeneous, yet distinct from most extra intestinal T cells. In this study sequential immunoenzymatic staining was used to define new intraepithelial lymphocyte subpopulations in man. In normal human jejunum approximately 6% of the intraepithelial T cells expressing CD3 (an antigen associated with the T cell receptor) do not express the T cell subset antigens CD4 or CD8. Approximately 20% of CD7+ cells (T cells and null cells) do not express CD4 or CD8 and 14% of the CD7+ cells do not express CD3 and are therefore not T cells. The CD7+, CD3+/-, CD4-, CD8- population is concentrated in the tips of the villi. In coeliac disease, the ratios of the subsets change significantly. The percentage of CD3+, 4-, 8- cells increases to 28%, the proportion of CD7+, 4-, 8- cells remains unchanged and the CD7+, CD3- (non-T cell) population is reduced to 1.4% of the CD7+ cells. In contrast, in patients with villous atrophy of uncertain aetiology, all CD4-, CD8- lymphocyte subsets are decreased compared with normal biopsies. Finally, in enteropathy associated T cell lymphoma (malignant histiocytosis of the intestine) in which the 'uninvolved mucosa' is histologically similar to untreated coeliac disease, the changes in the intraepithelial T cell sub-sets are indistinguishable from those in coeliac disease, suggesting that the lymphoma is a complication of coeliac disease.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.