An experimental arthritis model in the rat was used to study the arthritogenic potential of complexed IgE. IgE aggregates were produced in vitro by cross linking monoclonal rat IgE by dimethyl suberimidate and were injected into the knee joints. Animals which had not been injected and animals injected with phosphate buffered saline served as controls. The concentration of histamine in tissues, diffusion into the joint of bovine serum albumin labelled with iodine-125 injected intravenously, and the histology of the joints were studied. There was a significant decrease in the concentration of histamine in synovial tissue 8 and 24 hours after the injection of the IgE aggregates. A decreased number of stainable mast cells were found 8, 24, and 48 hours after exposure. A moderate hyperplasia of the synovial lining layer was also noted. These results provide further evidence for the arthritogenic potential of complexed IgE, especially in the initiation of arthritis through activation of mast cells.
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