The immunohistology of synovial lining cells in normal and inflamed synovium

J Pathol. 1988 Jun;155(2):133-42. doi: 10.1002/path.1711550210.


The immunohistology of synovial lining cells (SLCs) in normal and inflamed hyperplastic synovium was investigated using monoclonal antibodies directed against leucocyte common antigen (LCA) HLA-DR and other macrophage components. We found that some SLCs in normal synovium express LCA, HLA-DR, and monocyte/macrophage-associated antigens. The number of SLCs expressing these antigens is increased in hyperplastic osteoarthritic (OA) and rheumatoid (RA) synovium. Some SLCs which did not react for LCA or other macrophage markers but were positive for HLA-DR were also noted in normal synovium and some segments of hyperplastic OA synovium. SLCs which are positive for LCA, HLA-DR, and macrophage markers contribute to the intimal hyperplasia in RA where they account for the majority of SLCs in the synovial intima. In OA synovium, the distribution of SLCs showing this pattern of reactivity was less uniform with numerous SLCs which were positive for HLA-DR but negative for LCA and other macrophage markers also present in the synovial intima. These findings indicate that there are some SLCs of bone marrow origin in normal and hyperplastic synovium. They also suggest that recruitment of SLCs of marrow origin is important in the production of intimal hyperplasia in both RA and OA and that there is also a significant local proliferation of non-marrow derived SLCs in OA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Differentiation / analysis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Female
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis
  • Histocompatibility Antigens / analysis
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / immunology*
  • Osteoarthritis / pathology
  • Synovial Membrane / immunology*
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens