Intraepithelial lymphocytes bearing the gamma/delta receptor in the oral and jejunal mucosa in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis.Eur J Oral Sci. 1997 Apr; 105(2):130-5.EJ
Lymphocytes bearing T cell receptor (TcR) gamma/delta are increased in the jejunal mucosa of patients with dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) and coeliac disease. In this study, we examined whether increased numbers of gamma/delta TcR positive lymphocytes occur in the oral mucosa of patients with DH. Oral and jejunal mucosal biopsies were taken from 13 newly diagnosed and 13 gluten free diet (GFD)-treated patients with DH. Monoclonal antibodies and avidin-biotin peroxidase method was used for staining, and TcR positive cells were counted from the buccal and jejunal epithelium. Very few gamma/delta TcR positive lymphocytes were seen in the buccal epithelium of untreated or GFD-treated DH patients (median 0.4 and 0.3 cells/mm2), whereas alpha/beta TcR positive lymphocytes were frequent in both groups of DH patients (154 and 250 cells/mm2) and healthy controls (135 cells/mm2). The numbers of gamma/delta TcR positive intraepithelial lymphocytes were significantly increased in the jejunum of both untreated (43 cells/mm) and GFD-treated (27 cells/mm) DH patients compared to control patients (2.2 cells/mm). The present study did not, therefore, disclose any evidence for active recruitment of gamma/delta TcR positive lymphocytes in the oral epithelium, but showed substantial amounts of intraepithelial alpha/beta TcR positive lymphocytes both in DH patients and healthy controls.