European Journal of Pediatrics vol:146 issue:3 pages:251-6
Using monoclonal antibodies with the immunoperoxidase technique the distribution pattern of class I and class II antigens of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), and of the lymphocyte subsets have been studied in intestinal biopsies from children without mucosal lesions, from children with coeliac disease (CD) and from infants with cow's milk protein intolerance (CMPI). The staining of the intestinal mucosa for class I antigens is unaltered irrespective of the histological picture or the clinical diagnosis. Class II antigens are only partially or not expressed at all by epithelial cells in untreated coeliac disease and in some cases of cow's milk protein intolerance. The number and the composition of the lamina propria lymphocytes in both CD and CMPI are different from the normal situation. An increase of all lamina propria lymphocyte subsets is observed in untreated CD. A decrease of OKT4+ lymphocytes is observed in the lamina propria of CMPI patients. These changes may be involved in the pathogenesis of these diseases.