The distribution of immunoglobulin containing cells and interstitial deposition of immunoglobulins and complement were observed aroud small airway areas of bronchial asthmatics. Transbronchial lung biopsy was performed to obtain peripheral lung tissues of bronchial asthmatics in non-attack stage. The peroxidase antiperoxidase technique was applied to detect IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE antibodies and C(1)q using routinely processed paraffin sections.
The proportion of IgA containing cells was lower in the peripheral airway of bronchial asthmatics than in normal peripheral lungs. In atopic asthmatics, the proportion of IgE containing cells was higher than that in non-atopic asthmatics and normal controls. In non-atopic asthmatics, the proportion of IgG containing cells was higher than that in atopic asthmatics and normal controls. In non-atopic asthmatics, interstitial depositon of IgG antibody to alveolar septa and bronchiolar mucosa was characteristic. These findings suggest that the IgG antibody plays an important role in the pathogenesis of non-atopic asthma, whereas the IgE antibody is involved in atopic asthma.