The presence of the xanthine oxidase enzyme system has been demonstrated in the rheumatoid synovium. This supplies a reactive oxygen species generating system to synovium that is subjected to hypoxic-reperfusion cycles (cf inflamed rheumatoid synovium). An antibody to bovine milk xanthine oxidase has been used to localise the enzyme by immunohistochemistry to synovial endothelium. This implicates the endothelial cell as playing a major part in exacerbations of synovitis, induced by radicals.
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