DNA and RNA were extracted from synovial membranes, synovial fibroblast cells, peripheral blood lymphocytes, and synovial fibroblast cells strains derived from patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other joint conditions. They were hybridised after immobilisation on nitrocellulose filters with iodinated viral nucleic acids extracted from measles, rubella virus, SV--40, and a retrovirus, RD--114. In addition, in situ-hybridisation was carried out on sections of synovial membranes by means of iodinated measles and rubella virus RNA. In no case did any hybridisation occur. Positive control systems included synovial fibroblast strains transformed with SV--40, LLC--MK2 cells chronically infected with rubella virus and RD cells infected with RD--114. It was concluded tht the synovial cells did not contain viral genomes of measles, rubella virus, SV--40, or RD--114, or at least at a level equivalent to the positive control cells.
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