Role of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the regulation of activated synovial T cell growth: down-regulation of synovial T cells in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Eur J Immunol. 1995 Dec;25(12):3243-8. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830251207.


To characterize the role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha in regulating synovial T cell growth, cell cycle progression associated with TNF-alpha in mitogen-activated synovial T cells of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were analyzed. After mitogen stimulation, the majority of synovial T cells in RA patients accumulated in S-phase. Anti-human TNF-alpha monoclonal antibody and soluble recombinant human TNF receptor (rhTNFR) can block S-phase accumulation. Furthermore, synovial fluid (SF) from RA patients was able to inhibit the proliferation of these S-phase-accumulated T cells. These data indicate that TNF-alpha could regulate activated synovial T cell growth by driving them into S-phase. Combined with the activities of other components of SF, TNF-alpha seems to play an important role in down-regulating activated synovial T cells in RA patients. In addition, the elevated level of soluble TNFR in the SFof disease-active RA patients is believed to be associated with the promotion of synovial T cell responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Cell Division / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Down-Regulation / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects*
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology
  • S Phase / immunology
  • Synovial Fluid / cytology
  • Synovial Fluid / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology*


  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha