Immunofluorescent studies were performed upon the small intestinal mucosa obtained by jejunal biopsy of seven patients suffering from the coeliac syndrome and six control subjects. Seven patients had normal villous morphology and six had subtotal villous strophy. In the group whose jejunal biopsies were normal using routine histological examination, the predominant type of immunoglobulin-containing cell was IgA followed by IgM, then IgG, with the approximate ratio of 3:2:1 respectively. The cell densities were found to be much higher than in other published series and the predominance of IgA was not so marked. These findings may be in part due to differences in technique, but probably are also due to differences in the patients studied. In the group with villous atrophy the density of IgA cells was significantly lower than in the group with normal histology and three of the six patients showed a reversal in the normal ratio between IgA-and IgM-containing cells. A positive correlation was observed between serum IgM levels and the density of corresponding immunoglobulin-containing cells.
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