Lymphocytes binding C-reactive protein during acute rheumatic fever

J Clin Invest. 1978 May;61(5):1384-93. doi: 10.1172/JCI109056.


Lymphocytes binding C-reactive protein (CRP) were studied in 31 patients with acute rheumatic fever and 30 controls who were children. Marked elevations in both proportions and absolute numbers of CRP-binding lymphocytes were recorded in rheumatic fever (P less than 0.001). No clear correlation was noted between plasma CRP as quantitated by radioimmunoassay and proportions or numbers of CRP-binding cells. Double-labeling experiments indicated that 60-80% of CRP-binding lymphocytes also showed Fc receptors reacting with fluorescein-conjugated IgG aggregates. Passage of lymphocytes over Ig--anti-IgG columns, removed cells bearing surface Ig but not CRP-binding lymphocytes. Studies of T-cell subpopulations indicated no overlap between Tmicron- and CRP-binding cells; however about half of Tgamma-cells showed concurrent CRP binding. "Active" T-cell rosetting cells did not bind CRP. A 12-15-h incubation of lymphocytes at 37 degrees C in 5% CO2-air showed persistence of CRP binding in substantial proportions of cells particularly in acute rheumatic fever. CRP-binding lymphocytes may represent a marker for immunologically committed cells in acute rheumatic fever.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Binding Sites
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chorea / immunology
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / metabolism
  • Rheumatic Fever / immunology*
  • Rosette Formation


  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
  • C-Reactive Protein