Type II collagen is a target antigen of clonally expanded T cells in the synovium of patients with rheumatoid arthritis
- Taichi Sekinea,b,
- Tomohiro Katoa,
- Kayo Masuko-Hongoa,
- Hiroshi Nakamuraa,c,
- Shin-ichi Yoshinoc,
- Kusuki Nishiokaa,
- Kazuhiko Yamamotoa,d
- aRheumatology, Immunology and Genetics Program, Institute of Medical Science, St Marianna University School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Japan, bMitsubishi Kagaku Bio-Clinical Laboratories Inc, Tokyo, Japan, cDivision of Rheumatology, Nihon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan, dDivision of Allergy and Rheumatology, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
- Dr T Kato, Rheumatology, Immunology and Genetics Program, Institute of Medical Science, St Marianna University School of Medicine, 2–16–1, Sugao, Miyamae-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 216–8512, Japan.
- Accepted 23 February 1999
OBJECTIVE To investigate whether type II collagen (CII) is recognised by oligoclonally expanded synovial T cells of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
METHODS Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 15 RA patients were stimulated with CII in vitro. T cell clones expanded by such stimulation were compared with the clonally expanded synovial T cells by using T cell receptor (TCR) B chain gene specific reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and subsequent single strand conformation polymorphism analyses.
RESULTS Stimulation of the heterogeneous peripheral T cells with CII induced clonal expansion of T cells. In three of 15 patients, a proportion of these clones (approximately 17% to 25%) was found to be identical to expanded T cell clones in the synovium in vivo.
CONCLUSION T cell clones that had TCR CDR3 sequences identical to those induced by purified CII were found in a proportion of RA patients. This finding suggests that CII is recognised by T cells that accumulate clonally in RA joints. Oligoclonal T cell expansion in RA joints is probably driven, at least in part, by intra-articular components such as CII.
- T cell receptor
- T cell clone
- type II collagen
- reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction
- subsequent single strand conformation polymorphism
Funding: this study was supported in part by grants in aid from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Japan, and the Japan Rheumatism Foundation.