IJCEP Copyright © 2007-All rights reserved.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol 1(6),531-535;2008

Original Article
The Frequency of Lymphocytic and Reflux Esophagitis in Non-Human Primates

Carlos A Rubio, Edward J Dick Jr, Abiel Orrego, and Gene B Hubbard

Southwest National Primate Research Center, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, TX, 78245-0549, USA

Received 26 Oct 2007; Accepted with revision 26 Feb 2008; Available online 28 March 2008

Abstract: We previously reported in humans a novel histologic phenotype of non-gastro-esophageal reflux disease called lymphocytic
esophagitis. In this work, the esophagi of 121 non-human primates (103 baboons and 18 macaques) were investigated. 45 baboons (43.7%)
and 9 macaques (50%) had lymphocytic esophagitis. The lymphocytic infiltration in the squamous epithelium involved not only papillary but
also inter-papillary fields. Microscopic examination around the papillae revealed a mean of 52 intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) per high power
field. Of the remaining baboons, 29 had reflux esophagitis (GERD). Among them, 25 (24.3%) 2 (1.9%) and 2 (1.9%) had grade1, 2 and 3
esophagitis, respectively. Of the remaining macaques, 4 had GERD: 1 (5.5%) with grade 1 and 3 (16.7%) with grade 2 esophagitis. None of the
macaques had grade 3 esophagitis. The IEL population in lymphocytic esophagitis was composed of T cells, a subset of natural killer cells
and of helper and inflammatory T cells. This investigation in non-human primates substantiates the identity of lymphocytic esophagitis as a
subset of chronic esophagitis, as well as of reflux esophagitis. The antigenic agent(s) responsible for the marked immunological reaction in
lymphocytic esophagitis in non-human primates (and in humans) remains unknown. (IJCEP710008).

Key Words: Esophagus, lymphocytes, chronic inflammation and esophagitis

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Address all correspondence to: C.A.Rubio, MD, PhD, Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology Research Laboratory, Department of Pathology,  
Karolinska Institute and University Hospital, 17176, Stockholm, Sweden, fax: 46 8 51774524, E-mail: