In order to see if the complement (C) consumption and conversion, which are typical of rheumatoid joints, continue after synovectomy, 23 knee joints in which synovectomy had been performed from 4-5 to 6-5 years previously, were studied. The mean ratio of the concentration of C3, C4, and C5 in synovial fluid to that in palsma of the same patient was significantly lower than the corresponding ratio for the total protein content. This was found both in joints with active arthritis and in joints without clinical signs of arthritis, and in both seropositive and seronegative patients. Conversion products of C3 were found in 7 of the synovial fluids. The study thus indicated that the complement alterations in synovectomized joints are very similar to those in nonsynovectomized rheumatoid joints. In one synovial fluid agarose electrophoresis showed multiple sharp bands in the gamma region. By crossed immunoelectrophoresis some bands seemed to contain IgG with one type of light chains only. In plasma of the same patients the bands were much weaker, indicating local production of oligoclonal IgG in the joint.
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