Expression of a multidrug resistance gene in human rheumatoid synovium

Rheumatol Int. 1995;15(2):83-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00262714.


The objective of this study was to assess the expression of a multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotype, implicated in the cellular resistance of tumor to chemotherapy, in rheumatoid synovial membrane. Synovial membrane from 16 rheumatoid (RA) patients was studied. Six patients with osteoarthritis constituted the control group. The cell membrane expression of the glycoprotein Pgp 170, encoded by the MDR 1 gene, was determined by an immunoperoxidase technique using two different monoclonal antibodies (JSB 1, C 219). The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods were used in parallel to detect the presence of the MDR 1 gene mRNA in the synovial cells. Pgp 170 was expressed on the cell membrane of five RA patients and MDR 1 cellular transcription was detected in one other RA patient. We did not observe any association between synovial glycoprotein expression and age, disease activity, and a specific treatment with a long-acting drug. However, MDR protein expression was associated with the successive treatment with more than three disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). We concluded that the synovial membrane expresses a glycoprotein recognized by the antibodies JSB 1 and C 219. The absence of concomitant MDR 1 transcription suggests the expression of an atypical MDR phenotype in the synovial membrane, distinct from the Pgp 170 encoded by the MDR 1 gene. The implications of the MDR phenotype and the resistance of RA to DMARDs is further discussed.

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / biosynthesis
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Osteoarthritis / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Synovial Membrane / chemistry*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • RNA, Messenger