An indirect immunoperoxidase method was used to visualise immunoglobulin-containing cells in the large intestinal mucosa of 10 children who had defunctioning colostomies. Intestine deprived of its usual exposure to intraluminal antigens contained less immunocytes per unit area than intestinal mucosa subjected to normal stimulation by dietary and microbial antigens. These findings substantiate in man the conclusion based on observations made on animals that continued mucosal exposure to antigenic stimulation is necessary for the existence of an adequate population of intestinal immunocytes.
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