Cell-cell interactions in synovitis. Interactions between T lymphocytes and synovial cells

Arthritis Res. 2000;2(5):374-8. doi: 10.1186/ar115. Epub 2000 Jul 18.


Mechanisms whereby T lymphocytes contribute to synovial inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis are poorly understood. Here we review data that indicate an important role for cell contact between synovial T cells, adjacent macrophages and fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS). Thus, T cells activated by cytokines, endothelial transmigration, extracellular matrix or by auto-antigens can promote cytokine, particularly TNF alpha, metalloproteinase production by macrophages and FLS through cell-membrane interactions, mediated at least through beta-integrins and membrane cytokines. Since soluble factors thus induced may in turn contribute directly to T cell activation, positive feedback loops are likely to be created. These novel pathways represent exciting potential therapeutic targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Cell Communication / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Synovial Membrane / immunology*
  • Synovial Membrane / metabolism
  • Synovitis / immunology*
  • Synovitis / physiopathology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*