Pathology international

Reticular crypt epithelium and intra-epithelial lymphoid cells in the hyperplastic human palatine tonsil: an immunohistochemical analysis.

PMID 7704242


Extensive immunohistochemical analyses of the hyperplastic human palatine tonsil disclosed variegated B cell phenotypes on the lymphoid cells among the crypt epithelium. The reticular epithelial network was evident by cytokeratin immunostaining. The reticular epithelium near the crypt lumen was positive for lysozyme. Secretory component was negative, while HLA-DR was frequently expressed. Intramucosal small lymphocytes, densely distributed in the luminal side, consisted mainly of B cells expressing CD19, CD20, CD21, CD22, CD45R, CD74, DBB42, HLA-DR, HLA-DQ, bcl-2 protein and surface IgM. Some B cells revealed mantle zone phenotypes (surface IgD+, CD5+, CD24+, DBA44+, CD10-, DNA7-). Cells of germinocyte phenotype (CD10+, DNA7+) were sparsely seen. A good number of intramucosal lymphoid cells were further labeled for CD11b, a phenotype of so-called B-1 cells. Plasma cells were clustered within the basal half. IgG was their major immunoglobulin class, followed by IgA, IgM and IgD classes. A smaller number of T cells (CD2+, CD3+, CD5+, CD45RO+, TCR alpha beta+) were identified among the epithelium. CD4+ cells predominated over CD8+ cells. TCR gamma delta+ cells were rare. Macrophages (CD68+), dendritic histiocytes (S-100 protein+, CD1+), and natural killer cells (CD16+ or CD57+) were also dispersed. Another unique feature of this lymphoepithelial complex was the existence of HLA-DR- intramucosal intramucosal microvasculature, where lymphocyte recirculation was suggested. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen was detected commonly in the epithelial cells but rarely in the lymphoid cells. Possible lymphoepithelial interactions and morphologic similarities to the thymic medulla are discussed.