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Synovial fluid neutrophil function in RA: the effect of pregnancy associated proteins
  1. C Belcher1,
  2. M Doherty1,
  3. S P M Crouch2
  1. 1Academic Rheumatology, Clinical Sciences Building, City Hospital, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK
  2. 2David Evans Medical Research Centre, City Hospital, Nottingham
  1. Correspondence to:
    C Belcher, Academic Rheumatology, Clinical Sciences Building, City Hospital, Hucknall Road, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK;

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Pregnancy has been associated with remission of symptoms in 75% of women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).1,2 This may in part be caused by depression of polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) function, which reduces the degree of synovial fluid (SF) inflammation. This study compared the function of SF and peripheral blood neutrophils from patients with RA and normal subjects, and examined the in vitro effects of pregnancy associated proteins on neutrophil function.

Paired SF and blood samples were obtained from 15 patients with RA (six male, nine female); peripheral blood was obtained from nine normal controls (three male, six female). All patients fulfilled American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for RA.3 Patients with RA had a mean age of 63 (range 36–81); controls had a mean age of 35 (25–49). Patients with RA had mean disease duration of nine years (1–30); ESR levels mean 50 mm/1st h (SE 6.4) and …

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