Appearance of anti-HLA-DR-reactive cells in normal and rheumatoid synovial tissue

Scand J Immunol. 1981 Aug;14(2):183-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.1981.tb00198.x.


The reactivity of rabbit anti-HLA-DR antigen antibodies with cells in normal and rheumatoid synovial tissue was investigated by indirect immunofluorescence on frozen sections of tissue. The antibodies reacted with a significant proportion of the synovial lining cells of both normal and rheumatoid synovial tissue, with endothelial cells, and with a number of, most probably, migratory cells. After dispersion of cells from rheumatoid synovial tissue by digestion with collagenase and DNase, adherent cells of both a macrophage-like and a dendritic appearance reacted with the anti-HLA-DR antigen antibodies. The adherent cells were also found to be potent stimulators in the allogeneic MLR. In addition, it was found that a high percentage of T lymphocytes from both peripheral blood and synovial tissue of rheumatoid patients bound anti-HLA-DR antibodies. The present data suggest a role for synovial lining cells in HLA-D-locus-dependent events of importance in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and other joint diseases and point to the need for further investigations on T lymphocytes derived from the site of inflammation in the study of rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies*
  • Antigen-Antibody Reactions
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement
  • Endothelium / analysis
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed
  • Rabbits
  • Synovial Membrane / analysis*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Antibodies
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II