A freeze-fracture study of the enteropathy associated with dermatitis herpetiformis: A comparative investigation with coeliac disease

D. Contini, A. Torti, M. Monti, R. Caputo, G. Gasparini, M. Vecchi, R. de Franchis

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Jejunal biopsies from patients with either dermatitis herpetiformis or coeliac disease were freeze-fractured and compared with normal jejunal biopsies. The intestinal mucosa of the normal biopsies showed a normal structure, with well-developed and tightly packed microvilli; in dermatitis herpetiformis and coeliac disease degenerative changes of the intestrial mucosa occurred. These changes appeared to be segmental in dermatitis herpetiformis and diffuse in coeliac disease. Emphasis is placed on changes in the tight junctional net at the base of the microvilli, which could represent cellular damage related to increased intestinal permeability to macromolecules in these diseases. An interpretative hypothesis for these observations is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cutaneous Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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