We studied the production of immunoglobulins by lymphocytes separated from the blood of 15 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, of 12 patients suffering from other connective tissue diseases (CTD), and of 18 healthy controls. The production of IgM, IgG and IgA in pokeweed-mitogen-stimulated cultures was measured by counting the number of plaque-forming cells (PFC) and by determining the concentration of secreted immunoglobulins by means of an enzyme immunoassay. Synthesis of immunoglobulins, particularly IgM and IgG, was lower than in other CTD patients or controls. The IgM response of RA patients was 20% and 29% (PFC and Ig concentrations) that of the controls. The respective figures for IgG were 33% and 53% and for IgA 61% and 72%.
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