The ability of lymphocytes isolated from the blood and synovial effusions of patients with rheumatoid arthritis to support the growth of herpex simplex virus (HSV) was studied. Whereas blood lymphocytes supported virus growth, effusion lymphocytes were usually non-permissive. Lymphocytes obtained from the effusions of patients with other forms of inflammatory arthritis or suspected viral arthritis commonly failed to support the growth of HSV, but the virus grew in effusion lymphocytes from patients with noninflammatory joint disease. Several nonspecific factors which might have accounted for this non-permissiveness were excluded.
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