Synthesis of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) has been shown in cells from knee joint synovial fluid of 20 patients with inflammatory rheumatoid disease, reactive or psoriatic arthritis, or gout, all of which had high synovial fluid cell counts, and by cells from a patient with aseptic necrosis of a femoral condyle after short term (less than 24 hours) or long term (seven days) primary culture. Cells from 18 patients with inflammatory arthritis, five of which had low synovial fluid cell counts and cells from six patients with osteoarthritis were unable to synthesise this metabolite from 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3). Macrophages are believed to be the cells responsible for synthesising 1,25(OH)2D3 because these were significantly more numerous in samples that formed 1,25(OH)2D3; they were also the predominant cell type present in the aseptic necrosis sample and the only cell type present in preparations maintained for one week in monolayer culture.
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