B-cell activation and development within chronically inflamed synovium in rheumatoid and reactive arthritis

Semin Immunol. 1997 Aug;9(4):261-8. doi: 10.1006/smim.1997.0076.


In autoimmune diseases, B cells often accumulate in the affected tissue. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis or reactive arthritis, germinal center-like structures may develop in the inflamed synovial tissue. B cells from these structures were isolated and their V-gene repertoire determined. The majority of synovial B cells are long-term memory cells and thus are part of the chronic inflammatory reaction. In the synovium a micro-environment is built up which allows the activation of naive and memory B cells and the diversification of their V-gene repertoire. The analysis of plasma cells suggests that these cells are long lived and hence accumulate in the synovial tissue under chronic activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Reactive / genetics
  • Arthritis, Reactive / immunology*
  • Arthritis, Reactive / pathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte, Heavy Chain
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Plasma Cells / immunology
  • Plasma Cells / pathology
  • Synovial Membrane / immunology
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology