Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) intestinal mononuclear cells (MNC) exhibit decreased spontaneous IgA secretion with an increased percentage of monomeric IgA and IgA subclass 1 in both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease patients. When compared with control intestinal MNC, a marked increase in spontaneous secretion of IgG is observed from IBD MNC. The greatest increase in spontaneous IgG secretion is seen with ulcerative colitis intestinal MNC, due to the secretion of large amounts of IgG subclass 1. Crohn's disease intestinal MNC have increased IgG subclass 2 secretion. Similar differences in IgG subclass concentrations also occur in the sera of active, untreated, IBD patients. Therefore, major alterations occur with regard to spontaneous antibody secretion of IgA and IgG subclasses in IBD. Because intestinal MNC comprise a unique immunologic compartment, it will be important to better understand the regulatory mechanisms, effector capabilities, and inducing antigens involved in intestinal IgA and IgG subclass secretion in IBD. © 1989 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.