Broadening of the T cell receptor spectrum among rheumatoid arthritis synovial cell-lines in relation to disease duration

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2000 Mar-Apr;18(2):201-7.


Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the T cell receptor (TCR) family usage in T cell-lines from subcutaneous nodules and synovium from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), with specific reference to the duration of symptoms. In vitro adherence characteristics of nodular T cells was studied as well.

Methods: Monoclonal antibodies were used to determine the distribution of TCR families in T cell-lines from synovium of patients with early and long-standing RA, from rheumatoid nodules and control tissues. An in vitro binding assay with T cell-lines from 2 rheumatoid nodules was performed.

Results: In early RA synovium, a restricted TCR family usage was observed in 5 out of 8 patients, contrary to long-standing disease, peripheral blood, ileum and colon. In RA nodules, a similar degree of restriction was noted. Moreover, the same TCR family was overexpressed by T cell-lines from different nodules derived from the same patient. T cell-lines from rheumatoid nodules demonstrated a preferential in vitro adherence to rheumatoid synovium and rheumatoid nodules, while no binding was observed on skin or tonsil.

Conclusion: The TCR spectrum among RA synovial cell-lines broadens in relation to the disease duration. The overexpression of the same TCR family in different rheumatoid nodules from the same patients, and the in vitro adherence of T cell-lines from rheumatoid nodules may be indicative for recirculation between the different disease manifestations in RA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Cell Adhesion / immunology
  • Cell Line
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism*
  • Rheumatoid Factor / blood
  • Rheumatoid Nodule / metabolism*
  • Rheumatoid Nodule / pathology
  • Synovial Membrane / metabolism*
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Time Factors


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Rheumatoid Factor