Background: To examine the influence of atopy on the different cell populations in adenoids, we investigated the presence of IgE+ cells, cells expressing the high-affinity receptor for IgE (FcεRI), and various other cell populations in adenoid tissue, in atopic and nonatopic children with otitis media with effusion (OME) or adenoid hyperplasia (AH).
Methods: Cryostat sections of adenoids from 14 atopic and 16 nonatopic children suffering from long-lasting OME (n=15) or obstructive AH (n=15) were investigated with immunohistochemical markers for T-cell subsets, mast cells, eosinophils, plasma cells, CD25, CD1a, IgE, and FcεRI.
Results: Sensitization to allergens was correlated to an increase of IgE+ cells in the epithelium (P<0.01), the extrafollicular area (P<0.0001), and the follicles (P<0.001) of the adenoids and an increase of FcεRI+ cells in the extrafollicular area (P<0.01). A minority of the IgE+ cells were plasma cells. No significant differences in cells stained for IgE, FcεRI, or the other markers were observed between patients with OME and AH.
Conclusions: Atopy is associated with increased numbers of IgE+ and FcεRI+ cells in adenoids irrespective of whether the child has OME or AH.