OBJECTIVES--To examine the distribution of four annexins in non-inflamed rheumatoid arthritic and osteoarthritic synovial tissue. METHODS--Frozen sections were stained with monoclonal antibodies (MAb) specific for annexins-I, -II, -IV, and -VI, and for cell lineage related markers including CD68 and CD14 (macrophages), prolyl hydroxylase (fibroblasts), and CD3 (T cells). RESULTS--Each of the annexins was present in synovial tissues in significant amounts in the three groups studied. Annexin-I was predominantly found within the synovial lining layer and double labelling showed it to be present predominantly in cells of the macrophage lineage. In rheumatoid specimens there was increased staining within the lining layer, perivascularly and on macrophages within the tissue stroma. Annexin-II was present in a distribution similar to that of annexin-I, but with more prominent perivascular staining. Annexins-IV and -VI were seen chiefly in association with areas of lymphocyte infiltration in rheumatoid tissue, whereas annexins-I and -II were absent from these areas. Endothelial cells stained weakly positive for annexins-I and -II, and more strongly for -IV and -VI. CONCLUSIONS--This study demonstrates that annexins (particularly annexin-I, a putative mediator of the anti-inflammatory activities of glucocorticoids) are abundant in rheumatoid and non-rheumatoid synovial tissue, annexins-IV and -VI having a distribution distinct from that of -I and -II.
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