Enhanced interferon-gamma production by lymphocytes induced by a mitogen from mycoplasma arthritidis in patients with ankylosing spondylitis

Rheumatol Int. 1989;9(2):85-90. doi: 10.1007/BF00270250.


We have examined proliferation of and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production by peripheral blood lymphocytes induced by a purified mitogen derived from mycoplasma arthritidis (MAS) in patients with seronegative spondylo-arthropathies and healthy individuals. In all patients and healthy controls MAS exerted a potent nonspecific lymphoproliferation. In contrast, only patients with ankylosing spondylitis (ASp) showed a strong IFN-gamma production after stimulation with MAS. The maximal IFN-gamma response was observed in HLA-B27+/HLA-DQw3+ patients. However, healthy controls with the HLA-DQw3 haplotype with or without the presence of HLA-B27 exhibited also a slight but statistically not significant increase of IFN-gamma production. Moreover, in this study we have found an enhanced frequency of HLA-DQw3 in patients with ASp and reactive arthritis. This immunogenetic association explains the enhanced lymphocyte reactivity in these inflammatory rheumatic disorders to mycoplasmal antigens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Arthritis / immunology
  • HLA-B27 Antigen
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Mitogens / isolation & purification
  • Mitogens / pharmacology
  • Mycoplasma / immunology
  • Psoriasis / immunology
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / etiology
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / immunology*


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • HLA-B27 Antigen
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • HLA-DQ3 antigen
  • Mitogens
  • Interferon-gamma