A common immunological abnormality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an increased spontaneous polyclonal B cell activation. In order to study the influence of drug therapy in RA on the functional activity of B cells we enumerated spontaneous plaque-forming cells (PFC) in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) and synovial fluid lymphocytes (SFL) by a reverse haemolytic plaque assay. Spontaneous IgG-, IgM-, and IgA-PFC in PBL of 26 patients with classical erosive RA receiving either gold salts or D-penicillamine were similar to those observed in 20 healthy controls. In contrast, significantly higher numbers of IgG- and IgA-PFC, but not IgM-PFC, were found in PBL of nine patients with classical erosive RA receiving non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) alone. Furthermore, spontaneous PFC in SFL from 16 consecutive patients with RA receiving second-line drugs, as well as 17 patients with other forms of arthritis (non-RA) were generally low and significantly less than those observed in 20 RA patients on NSAID alone. Moreover, a wide individual variation in PFC, especially in relation to the IgG class, was recorded in the synovial lymphocytes. These studies imply that treatment with second-line drugs is associated with normalisation of B cell activity in RA patients, and that the effect can be detected at the cellular level both in blood and synovial fluid.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.