Ten patients with tropical sprue (TS) and 10 with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as controls were studied to characterize the immunocytes in the jejunal mucosa. IgA cells numbered 516, 155 ± 48, 715 cells/mm3 in TS and 729, 308 ± 146, 011/mm3 in the IBS patients. IgG cell counts were 28, 885 ± 8, 081/mm3 in TS and 10, 615 ± 4, 100/mm3 in IBS; IgM counts were 170, 729 ± 25, 015/mm3 in TS and 169, 253 ± 45, 353/mm3 in IBS. A positive correlation was present between IgM-bearing plasma cells and corresponding serum immunoglobulins (r = +0.71; p < 0.05). No correlation was evident between the different immunocytes (IgA, IgG, and IgM) and the duration of illness, serum albumin, and tests for absorption of fat, B-12, and D-xylose (p > 0.05). The gut immunocytes expressed in absolute numbers were higher in our controls and TS patients than reported in Western populations.
- Tropical sprue