Year of publication:
Journal title abbreviated:
ADV EXP MED BIOL
Journal title long:
Advances in experimental medicine and biology
Patients with Crohn''s disease (CD) have elevated numbers of Vicia villosa agglutinin (VVA) binding cells in the peripheral blood. These cells represent a major subset of activated peripheral T cells. VVA binding T lymphocytes express either the T8 or the T4 determinant on their cell surface. In contrast in normal controls only a minor subset of peripheral T cell expresses binding sites for VVA. The majority of these cells coexpress T8. VVA binding T cells display no helper activity. Only in a subfraction of patients with CD and not in normal controls these cells mediate contrasuppressor activity for Ig and in particular for IgA. This subgroup of patients is characterized by the lack of extramucosal manifestations. It has now been shown that VVA binding T cells in their majority do not possess phenotypic features of helper inducer cells. This further supports the hypothesis of their involvement in contrasuppression. Moreover it was shown that IgA produced in the presence of VVA binding T cells is IgA1 and IgA2 (ratio 2:1) which are both modulated by VVA binding T cells.