The intrinsic migratory capacity of memory T cells contributes to their accumulation in rheumatoid synovium

Arthritis Rheum. 1992 Dec;35(12):1434-44. doi: 10.1002/art.1780351206.


Objective: Mechanisms controlling the infiltration of T cells into rheumatoid synovium have not been fully characterized. These studies were undertaken to investigate the relationship between T cell phenotype and migratory capacity, so as to elucidate mechanisms that might contribute to the accumulation of T cells at inflammatory sites.

Methods: The characteristics of in vivo migrating cells were studied by dual-immunofluorescence FACS (fluorescence-activated cell sorter) analysis of rheumatoid synovial and peripheral blood T cells. Migratory cells were also characterized using a recently developed in vitro assay, wherein peripheral blood T lymphocytes (PBTL) with the capacity to migrate through endothelial cell monolayers were retrieved and assessed.

Results: Migratory CD4+ T cells from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and normal individuals were characterized as being CD45RA-, CD29bright, CD11abright, L-selectin-, CD54+, and CD58+. Migrating RA PBTL (compared with normal PBTL), however, were significantly enriched in activated HLA-DR+ T cells. RA synovial tissue lymphocytes exhibited a similar phenotype, but with decreased surface density of CD4 and an increase in HLA-DR and VLA-1. RA synovial lymphocytes exhibited a 2-3-fold increase in migratory capacity over normal and RA PBTL:

Conclusion: These studies demonstrate the inherent migratory proficiency of CD4+ T cells that express a memory phenotype (CD29bright, CD11abright, and CD58+). In addition, enhanced transendothelial migration was observed for CD4+ T cells that were CD54+ and L-selectin-. These studies demonstrate that the migratory patterns of circulating lymphocytes may be correlated with their surface phenotype and that the intrinsic migratory capacity of memory T cells is one component contributing to their accumulation in the rheumatoid synovium.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / analysis
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Antigens, CD / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • CD11 Antigens
  • CD4 Antigens / analysis
  • CD4 Antigens / immunology
  • CD58 Antigens
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Integrin beta1
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Synovial Fluid / cytology
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology*
  • Synovial Membrane / physiology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • CD11 Antigens
  • CD4 Antigens
  • CD58 Antigens
  • Integrin beta1
  • Membrane Glycoproteins