Quantification of plasma cells in labial salivary glands: increased expression of IgM in Sjögren's syndrome

J Oral Pathol Med. 1990 Mar;19(3):126-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.1990.tb00810.x.


Plasma cells expressing IgG, IgA and IgM were quantified in labial salivary glands from patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS) and compared with glands showing non-specific inflammatory changes and normal controls. In all glands the predominant isotype was IgA but in SS there was a significant increase in both the number and proportions of IgG and IgM positive cells (P less than 0.002). In particular, all SS cases contained greater than 10% IgM positive cells (mean = 26.8 +/- 15.5). The results suggest that accumulation of IgM positive plasma cells may be a specific finding in SS and support the concept that the glandular lesions may be a site of B-cell clonal expansion. Since most B-cell hyperproliferative states in SS, including lymphoma, are associated with synthesis of IgM simple quantification of plasma cells may have important diagnostic and prognostic significance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Count
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lip / pathology*
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plasma Cells / immunology
  • Plasma Cells / pathology*
  • Salivary Glands / pathology*
  • Salivary Glands, Minor / immunology
  • Salivary Glands, Minor / pathology*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / immunology
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / pathology*


  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M