Article Text


Polymorphonuclear cell function in rheumatoid arthritis and in Felty's syndrome.
  1. G B Howe,
  2. J N Fordham,
  3. K A Brown,
  4. H L Currey


    Tests for polymorphonuclear cell (PMN) chemotaxis, adherence, and electrophoretic mobility (EPM) were carried out on blood PMN isolated from 27 normal subjects, 16 patients with uncomplicated rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and 9 patients with Felty's syndrome. Chemotaxis was measured by a modification of the Boyden chamber technique, adherence by retention of cells on nylon fibre columns, and EPM in a cylindrical electrophoretic assembly. There was no significant difference between the chemotactic migration of normal and rheumatoid PMN as assessed by the leading front measurement. However, PMN from patients with Felty's syndrome showed significantly reduced chemotaxis (P less than 0.001). Computerised image analysis showed this impaired migration to be due to an overall reduction in cell motility rather than loss of a subset cells. Activated serum from patients with RA and Felty's syndrome were as good chemoattractants as activated pooled AB serum. There was no significant difference in the adhesiveness of PMN from normal persons and rheumatoid patients, though PMN from patients with Felty's syndrome did show a trend to lower adhesiveness. Both RA and Felty's syndrome patients had an increase in the proportion of PMN of lower surface charge than controls. Direct correlations were observed between cells of high surface charge and nonadhesiveness.

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