Peripheral blood and synovial fluid monocyte expression of interleukin 1 alpha and 1 beta during active rheumatoid arthritis

J Rheumatol. 1995 Apr;22(4):600-6.


Objective: To investigate the mononuclear cell (MNC) types from peripheral blood (PB) and synovial fluid (SF) of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) expressing interleukin-1 beta and -1 alpha (IL-1 beta, IL-1 alpha).

Methods: PB and SF MNC from 16 patients with classical or definite RA and controls were analyzed by flow cytometry for IL-1 beta and IL-1 alpha staining.

Results: MNC from normal individuals do not stain for either IL-1 beta or IL-1 alpha. By contrast, PB and SF CD14+ monocytes from patients with active RA show significant staining for surface and intracellular IL-1 beta and IL-1 alpha. Furthermore, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) correlates with the surface expression of IL-1 alpha (r = 0.52, p < 0.05) while the number of active joints (i.e., tender and/or swollen) correlate with the intracellular expression of IL-1 beta (r = 0.58, p < 0.03) in CD14+ monocytes.

Conclusion: The analysis of IL-1 beta and IL-1 alpha expression on CD14+ monocytes from peripheral blood by flow cytometry could be a potential immunological marker of disease activity in RA and its variation could be used to monitor the effects of therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic / analysis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Blood Cells / immunology
  • Blood Cells / metabolism*
  • CD4 Antigens / analysis
  • CD8 Antigens / analysis
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism*
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Male
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Reference Values
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Synovial Fluid / cytology
  • Synovial Fluid / immunology
  • Synovial Fluid / metabolism*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic
  • CD4 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Interleukin-1
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors