Immunocytological responses in porcine proliferative enteropathies

S McOrist, N MacIntyre, C R Stokes, G H Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ileum, colon, and mesenteric lymph nodes of pigs naturally affected by either of the two major forms of proliferative enteropathy, namely, intestinal adenomatosis or hemorrhagic enteropathy, were examined for immunocytological responses to infection by immunocytochemistry, using antibodies directed against elements of the porcine immune system. In both forms, there was mucosal proliferation of immature enterocytes which lacked substantial major histocompatibility complex class II expression and a marked accumulation of immunoglobulin A (IgA) at the apical cytoplasm of affected enterocytes in association with intracellular Campylobacter-like organisms. In intestinal adenomatosis, there was only a mild infiltration of CD8+ and CD25+ T cells in the intestinal lamina propria. In hemorrhagic enteropathy, there was a moderate infiltration of CD8+ and CD25+ T cells and IgM+ B cells in the lamina propria. In rats and humans, villous enterocytes are thought to act as antigen-presenting cells, with major histocompatibility complex class II molecules present on their surface, capable of initiating a T-cell response (particularly of CD8+ T cells) in response to bacterial antigens. Therefore, the selection of immature crypt cells by the intracellular Campylobacter-like organisms for entry and multiplication may represent a remarkable microbial adaptation associated with local immunomodulation and enhanced bacterial survival. The accumulation of IgA within affected enterocytes may represent a reduced capability of the cells to process nonspecific IgA or an accumulation of specific IgA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4184-91
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1992


  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD8
  • Enteritis
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Swine
  • Swine Diseases


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