Immunoglobulin-containing plasma cells recruited to cervical neoplasia

Academic Article


  • 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 = 12), koilocytic atypia (n = 13), mild dysplasia (n = 21), high-grade squamous intraepithelial 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 recruited 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.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Edwards RP; Pitts A; Crowley-Nowick P; Partridge EE; Gore H; Mestecky J
  • Start Page

  • 520
  • End Page

  • 526
  • Volume

  • 87
  • Issue

  • 4