Selection of T lymphocytes in two rheumatoid arthritis patients defines different T-cell receptor V beta repertoires in CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets

J Autoimmun. 1993 Oct;6(5):621-37. doi: 10.1006/jaut.1993.1051.


To study the selective pressures responsible for the expansion of T cells in rheumatoid arthritis, we constructed cDNA mini-libraries from purified CD4+ and CD8+ T cells prepared from peripheral blood and from synovial fluids of two rheumatoid arthritis patients. Comparison of these libraries by hybridization with specific probes indicated that V beta 2 and V beta 8 transcripts are selectively enriched in the CD4+ synovial fluid lymphocyte population, while V beta 4 was over-represented among both the CD4+ and CD8+ subsets. The enrichment of V beta 14 and V beta 17 observed in synovial fluid T cells of one patient was, however, selectively confined to the CD8+ T-cell subpopulation. Sequence analysis of several V beta 2, V beta 4 and V beta 8 clones, derived from CD4+ cells, revealed a high degree of heterogeneity in the V beta-D beta-J beta junctions, while a more biased utilization of J segments and a more restricted junctional heterogeneity were observed in V beta 4, V beta 14 and V beta 17 clones derived from CD8+ cells. These data suggest that the disease may be induced by the initial activation of a rather heterogeneous population of T-helper cells that are later responsible for the expansion of a more restricted pool of highly specific effector lymphocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / analysis*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Female
  • Gene Library
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / analysis*
  • Synovial Fluid / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta