Expression of activation markers on CD4+ and CD8+ cells from synovial fluid, synovial tissue, and peripheral blood of patients with inflammatory arthritides

Scand J Immunol. 1989 Jun;29(6):631-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.1989.tb01167.x.


We studied the expression of the Tac antigen, the transferrin receptor (Tfr-R), HLA class II antigens (DR, DQ, DP), CD30, and Act 1 on purified CD4+ and CD8+ cells isolated from synovial fluid (SF), synovial tissue (ST), and peripheral blood (PB) of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and with non-RA inflammatory arthritides (not ST). Subfractionated T cells of PB from healthy individuals served as controls. SF CD4+ cells from RA and non-RA arthritides expressed the Tac antigen much more frequently than corresponding CD8+ cells (54 and 58% versus 16 and 17%). In contrast, SF CD8+ cells of both patient groups expressed the HLA class II antigens rather more frequently than the corresponding CD4+ cells (88 and 68% versus 72 and 40%). Tfr-R expression was low on CD4+ and CD8+ SF T cells from both patient groups. SF T cells did not express CD30, and their expression of Act 1 did not differ from that of normal PB T cells. The RA ST findings were similar to those of RA SF. The overall expression of activation markers on PB T cells of patients was slightly higher than on those of normal controls, and the RA group was slightly higher than the non-RA group. The results show that intra-articular T cells in arthritis are activated and that CD4+ and CD8+ subsets differ in their expression of Tac antigen and HLA class II antigens. There were also similar patterns of activation markers on both CD4+ and CD8+ SF cells from RA and non-RA arthritis patients, suggesting that several types of arthritis display a similar immunopathogenesis in the joints.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, Differentiation / analysis
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / analysis*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Arthritis / immunology*
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Female
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / analysis
  • Humans
  • Ki-1 Antigen
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / analysis
  • Receptors, Transferrin / analysis
  • Synovial Fluid / immunology*
  • Synovial Membrane / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / classification
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Ki-1 Antigen
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Receptors, Transferrin