We performed a detailed histological and immunohistological study on both fresh-frozen and paraffin-embedded tissue from full-thickness jejunal biopsy specimens taken from three patients with immunoproliferative small-intestinal disease (IPSID). In all three patients, the mucosal infiltrate consisted of "centrocyte-like" (CCL) cells forming lymphoepithelial lesions and plasma cells. In one patient, the mucosal infiltrate was strikingly follicular. Immunohistochemistry showed alpha 1 heavy chain, but no light chain, in the perinuclear space and cytoplasm of the CCL cells and in the plasma cells. In two patients, the plasma cells (but not the CCL cells) also contained alpha 2 heavy chain. In the case showing a follicular pattern, the extrafollicular CCL cells and most of the cells within the mucosal follicles expressed alpha 1 heavy chain, but a minor and variable population of cells expressed polytypic IgM. The dendritic reticulum cells stained for alpha 1 (but not alpha 2) heavy chain, mu chain, and both light chains. In all cases, the CCL cells did not stain for common acute lymphoblastic leukaemia antigen (CALLA); in the follicles, CALLA negative cells displaced a residual CALLA-positive population to the periphery and merged with the CALLA negative cells outside the follicles. These findings confirm the homology between IPSID and low-grade B-cell "Western" lymphomas arising in mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue; they suggest that the follicular pattern sometimes seen in these lymphomas is caused by selective colonization of reactive follicles by CCL tumor cells.