The level of expression of surface antigens was studied on neutrophils from paired samples of blood and synovial fluid of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). By measuring the immunofluorescence of labelled monoclonal antibodies it was shown that on joint neutrophils there was an increase in expression of complement receptor 3 (CR3) and granulocyte functional antigens 1 and 2 compared with blood neutrophils, whereas the expression of GpIIb-IIIa was reduced. The pattern of expression was the same as that seen with in vitro activation and strongly suggest that activation is occurring within the joint.
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