A specific cytochemical reaction for freely available phospholipids has shown a raised concentration of such phospholipids in the lining cells of human synovial membranes removed from rheumatoid joints. Quantitative measurement, by microdensitometry, of the amount of reaction-product per cell showed that the rheumatoid synoviocytes contained almost three times the amount of free phospholipids present in the equivalent nonrheumatoid cells; statistically the difference was highly significant. Evidence from studies in which the bound phospholipids were 'unmasked' by methanol-chloroform confirmed the view that the increased content of freely available phospholipids was related to altered lipid-protein binding rather than to an increase in total phospholipids.
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