Immunological studies on aphthous ulcer and erythema nodosum-like eruptions in Behcet's disease

Br J Dermatol. 1985 Sep;113(3):303-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.1985.tb02082.x.


Patients with Behcet's disease show an intense delayed hypersensitivity (DH) reaction to a group of streptococcal bacteria. We have attempted to detect deposits of immune complexes and to analyse cytological reactions in the aphthous ulcers and erythema nodosum (EN)-like eruptions. Deposits of IgM and positive fluorescence of anti-streptococcal group D serum were found in vessel walls and sites infiltrated by inflammatory cells. Cytological analysis has revealed that the inflammatory infiltrating cells are mainly composed of activated T-cells and macrophages in association with natural killer cells. These results suggest that DH reactions with antigen-antibody mediated cytotoxicity may play an important role in causing the lesions of Behcet's disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, Bacterial / analysis
  • Behcet Syndrome / complications
  • Behcet Syndrome / immunology*
  • Cell Movement
  • Enterococcus faecalis / immunology
  • Erythema Nodosum / complications
  • Erythema Nodosum / immunology*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Mucosa / immunology
  • Skin / immunology
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / complications
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / immunology*


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin M