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Immunoglobulin-Containing Plasma Cells Recruited to Cervical Neoplasia.

EDWARDS, ROBERT P. MD; PITTS, ANNETTE MS; CROWLEY-NOWICK, PEGGY PhD; PARTRIDGE, EDWARD E. MD; GORE, HAZEL MB, BS; MESTECKY, JIRI MD

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Abstract

Objective: To determine the number and isotype of immunoglobulin (Ig)-containing cells that infiltrate various stages of cervical neoplasia from no lesion to invasive cancer.

Methods: By three-color immunofluorescent microscopy, the number and isotype of stromal plasma cells were determined for 91 specimens representing a spectrum of cervical epithelial neoplasia as follows: no lesion (n = 21), high-grade squamous intrepithelial lesions (SIL; n = 22), and invasive carcinoma (n = 23).

Results: The Ig-positive cell counts were markedly increased under the low-grade SIL. Specifically, the mean number of IgG-positive plasma cells was significantly increased (P < .003) under the subepithelial stroma of mild dysplasia as compared with no SIL, high-grade SIL, or invasive carcinoma. These immunocyte infiltrates were clustered in the stroma beneath koilocytes, which also demonstrated IgG-positive intracellular staining.

Conclusion: Low-grade cervical lesions are infiltrated by IgG Plasma cells to a greater extent than high-grade or invasive cervical lesions, suggesting that antibody responses are preferentially receruited in early cervical neoplasia, giving credence to the concept that low-grade lesions represent a human papillomavirus infection of the cervix rather than a neoplastic condition.

(C) 1996 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

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