Skewed T-cell receptor BV14 and BV16 expression and shared CDR3 sequence and common sequence motifs in synovial T cells of rheumatoid arthritis

Genes Immun. 2005 May;6(3):248-61. doi: 10.1038/sj.gene.6364166.


T-lymphocytes play an important role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this study, we evaluated the hypothesis that common T-cell receptor (TCR) structural features may exist among infiltrating T cells of different RA patients, if the TCR repertoire is shaped by interaction with common self or microbial antigens in the context of susceptible HLA genes in RA. Synovial lesion tissue (ST), synovial fluid (SF) and blood specimens from RA patients and controls were analyzed for TCR V gene repertoire by real-time PCR. There was highly skewed BV14 and BV16 usage in synovial T cells of RA as opposed to those of controls, which was accompanied with a trend for correlation between skewed BV16 and DRB1(*)0405. Immunoscope analysis of the V-D-J region of ST-derived T cells demonstrated oligoclonal and polyclonal expansion of BV14(+) and BV16(+) T cells. Detailed characterization using specific BV and BJ primers further revealed common clonotypes combining the same BV14/BV16, BJ and CDR3 length. DNA cloning and sequence analysis of the clonotypes confirmed identical CDR3 sequences and common CDR3 sequence motifs among different RA patients. The findings are important in the understanding of BV gene skewing and CDR3 structural characteristics among synovial infiltrating T cells of RA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism*
  • Complementarity Determining Regions / genetics*
  • Humans
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Synovial Membrane / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*


  • Complementarity Determining Regions
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell