Molecular analysis of T-cell clonality in ulcerative jejunitis and enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma

Am J Pathol. 1997 Aug;151(2):493-8.


Ulcerative jejunitis (UJ) and enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma (EATL) are closely related conditions both associated with celiac disease. Benign-appearing inflammatory ulcers are seen in both, which has led to the suggestion that UJ is a manifestation of EATL. The aim of this study was to investigate this relationship using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect T-cell gene rearrangement. PCR amplification of the T-cell receptor gamma-chain gene was performed on DNA extracted from lymphoma, associated inflammatory ulcers, and intervening mucosa in six EATL cases and from ulcers and intervening mucosa of seven cases of UJ. In two of these cases, DNA from a subsequent lymphoma was also studied. The PCR products from the tumor and an ulcer from one EATL case, two ulcers from one case of UJ, and one ulcer and subsequent cutaneous lymphoma from one UJ case were sequenced. Twenty-five ulcers from twelve cases of Crohn's disease, twenty sections of normal bowel, and nine celiac biopsies were included as controls. A monoclonal T-cell population defined by a dominant band equal in size to that amplified from the lymphoma was identified in at least one ulcer from four informative EATL cases and from intervening mucosa in three. Monoclonality was demonstrated in at least one, and up to thirteen, ulcers from all seven cases of UJ, in intervening mucosa in five, and in the two subsequent lymphomas. Sequencing showed the same clone was present in the tumor and the ulcer in the EATL case, in two of three ulcers from the UJ case, and in an ulcer and subsequent cutaneous lymphoma in one UJ case. All Crohn's disease ulcers and all sections of normal bowel were polyclonal. One of nine celiac biopsies showed a dominant band. In conclusion, we have shown that T-cell monoclonality is a feature of the ulcers in both UJ and EATL and that the same clone is present in EATL and its associated inflammatory ulcers and in UJ and subsequently developing lymphoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Celiac Disease / complications
  • Enteritis / etiology
  • Enteritis / genetics
  • Enteritis / immunology
  • Gene Rearrangement, T-Lymphocyte / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Jejunal Diseases / etiology
  • Jejunal Diseases / genetics*
  • Jejunal Diseases / immunology
  • Jejunal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Jejunal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Jejunal Neoplasms / immunology
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / etiology
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / genetics*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / immunology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / genetics*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta