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Analysis of T cell subsets in the peripheral blood and synovial fluid of patients with rheumatoid arthritis by means of monoclonal antibodies.
  1. O Duke,
  2. G S Panayi,
  3. G Janossy,
  4. L W Poulter,
  5. N Tidman

    Abstract

    In an attempt to define the immunoregulatory mechanisms operating in rheumatoid arthritis we have enumerated T cell subsets in the peripheral blood and synovial fluid of patients with this disease. The peripheral blood analysis revealed an elevation of the ratio of inducer T cells (OKT4 positive) to suppressor/cytotoxic T cells (OKT5 positive) in patients with clinically active rheumatoid arthritis when compared with normal persons. This was due to a reduction in the percentage of suppressor/cytotoxic T lymphocytes in these patients. The synovial fluid in rheumatoid arthritis differed from the peripheral blood in 2 respects. Firstly, synovial fluid was characterised by a lower helper: suppressor ratio due to an increased number of suppressor/cytotoxic cells, and, secondly, it contained an increased number of activated T cells bearing HLA DR antigens. The majority of these activated T cells belonged to the helper/inducer T cell subset.

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