Cytokine enhancement of monocyte/synovial cell attachment to the surface of cartilage: a possible trigger of pannus formation in arthritis

Rheumatol Int. 1991;11(1):31-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00290248.


When rheumatoid articular cartilage samples were incubated with normal peripheral blood monocytes and cultured synovial cells in the presence of recombinant human interleukin-1 (IL-1) in vitro, large numbers of monocytes were seen to be attached to the articular surface. Significant numbers of monocytes invaded the cartilage tissue when the rheumatoid cartilage samples were pre-incubated with 10 U/ml of IL-1. Considerable numbers of monocytes were also attached to normal cartilage when these were pre-incubated with IL-1. It is of interest that recombinant human gamma interferon (gamma-IFN) did not enhance monocyte attachment. However, there was a significantly greater attachment of monocytes to rheumatoid than to normal cartilage. When normal cartilage was exposed to collagenase and then incubated with monocytes or synovial cells in the presence of 10 U/ml of IL-1, large numbers of cells were attached to the natural cartilage surface but not to the cut surface. These phenomena were much more intense when the rheumatoid cartilage was pre-incubated with collagenase. These results indicate that increased levels of IL-1 in the rheumatoid joint may play an important role in joint destruction by stimulation of pannus formation by inducing synovial cell attachment to the articular surface.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology*
  • Cartilage, Articular / pathology*
  • Cell Adhesion*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Collagenase / metabolism
  • Monocytes / pathology*
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology*


  • Interleukin-1
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Microbial Collagenase