Dissection of the mechanisms of immune injury in rheumatoid arthritis, using total lymphoid irradiation

Arthritis Rheum. 1988 Jan;31(1):21-30. doi: 10.1002/art.1780310104.


Eleven patients with intractable rheumatoid arthritis were treated with total lymphoid irradiation. After radiotherapy, there was a marked decrease in the number and function of peripheral blood helper/inducer (Leu-3+) T lymphocytes, in the spontaneous secretion of interleukin-1 by synovial biopsy specimens, and in the activity of the joint disease. In contrast, levels of IgM, IgA, and IgG rheumatoid factors and C3 concentrations in blood and synovial fluid samples did not change significantly after therapy with total lymphoid irradiation.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / radiotherapy*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Biopsy
  • Blood Cells / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immune System / radiation effects*
  • Interleukin-1 / biosynthesis
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymphoid Tissue / radiation effects*
  • Radiation Injuries*
  • Rheumatoid Factor / analysis
  • Synovial Membrane / analysis
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology


  • Interleukin-1
  • Rheumatoid Factor