Type A synovial lining cells have been shown to contain lysozyme in their lysosomes. This might be phagocytosed because synovial fluid contains lysozyme originating from tissue macrophages and articular cartilage but in arthritides, in particular, from neutrophils. In situ hybridisation with 35S labelled cDNA was used to detect mRNA for lysozyme over synovial lining in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. No hybridisation was found with lactoferrin cDNA, which was used as a negative control. Computer search against the EMBL gene bank (release 14) did not show any significant cross hybridisation to a known sequence. In cytological specimens 35S-cDNA:mRNA hybrids were observed in positive but not in negative control cells. The presence of lysozyme and its mRNA suggests that type A synovial lining cells are of mononuclear phagocyte lineage.
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