Lymphocytotoxic antibody in inflammatory bowel disease. A family study

N Engl J Med. 1975 Nov 27;293(22):1117-20. doi: 10.1056/NEJM197511272932203.


The prevalence of lymphocytotoxic antibody in inflammatory bowel disease is 40 per cent. Twenty-seven of 90 relatives of 23 probands with the disease (30 per cent) demonstrated lymphocytotoxic antibody, as contrasted with only three of 69 control family members (4 per cent) (P less than 0.0001). Decreased lymphocytotoxicity against lymphocytes from patients with inflammatory bowel disease as compared to normal donor lymphocytes previously demonstrated in the serum of probands was also observed in the serums from family members of the probands. Nineteen of the 48 household contacts of probands (40 per cent) were positive for antibody, whereas eight of 42 nonhousehold contacts (19 per cent) demonstrated it (P less than 0.05). Eight of 16 spouses (50 per cent) of probands showed antibody. The increased prevalence of lymphocytotoxic antibody in family members of probands and its occurrence mainly in household contacts (consanguineous and non-consanguineous) may indicate the exposure of probands and their family members to a common environmental agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / genetics
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / immunology*
  • Crohn Disease / genetics
  • Crohn Disease / immunology*
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Male
  • Pedigree


  • Antibodies