An inappropriate response of the bone marrow is implicated in the aetiology of the anaemia of chronic disease complicating rheumatoid arthritis. T lymphocyte subsets have been shown to inhibit early erythroid development in vitro in association with some cases of bone marrow failure, and an expanded peripheral blood pool of these cells is reported in rheumatoid arthritis. We have studied the role of peripheral blood T lymphocytes in erythroid bone marrow culture from seven normal volunteers and nine anaemic patients with rheumatoid arthritis and found comparable stimulation of growth in both groups.
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