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Gastroenterology. 1985 Jul;89(1):92-101.

Inflammatory component of celiac sprue mucosa. I. Mast cells, basophils, and eosinophils.


To study mast cell, basophil, and eosinophil populations within celiac sprue mucosae in comparison with various disease-control specimens, toluidine blue-stained 1-micron plastic sections were analyzed morphometrically by light microscopy. Within lamina propria of celiac sprue mucosae each population of cells was markedly expanded and fell to control levels during gluten restriction. Changes within surface and crypt epithelium, however, were not significantly different from those in the severer, "flat" disease-control lesions, and were not affected by gluten restriction. Basophils were not identified within surface or crypt epithelium of any specimen analyzed. The influx of eosinophils and basophils into lamina propria occurred by emigration via pericryptal venules. Mature mast cells were not seen within the microvasculature, neither were these cells undergoing mitosis: thus their origin was from unidentified precursors. The gluten-dependent alterations in each of these cell populations in celiac sprue mucosae are consistent with secondary effector mechanisms, probably resulting from cell-mediated reactions that occur primarily within the lamina propria, rather than the epithelium.

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