Immunopathologic role of proteoglycan antigens in rheumatoid joint disease

Scand J Immunol. 1980;11(3):247-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.1980.tb00232.x.


Cell-mediated immunity to proteoglycan antigens was assessed by leucocyte migration inhibition and by lymphocyte stimulation tests in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or with ankylosing spondylarthritis, in patients with relapsing synovitis after a single trauma to their knee joints, and in healthy donors. Both tests revealed a sensitization in most of the patients examined with various proteoglycan antigens derived from human cartilaginous tissues, rheumatoid synovial fluid, and species-common antigen of bovine nasal cartilage. Antibodies against proteoglycan antigens of human articular cartilage were detected by solid-phase radioimmunoassay in eleven out of twenty-nine sera from patients with rheumatoid arthritis and in four out of six rheumatoid synovial fluids. The results suggest that the cartilage antigenic components released by an inflammatory process or trauma may trigger a vicious circle of chronic inflammation and joint destruction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Cartilage, Articular / immunology
  • Cell Movement
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proteoglycans / immunology*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / immunology
  • Synovitis / immunology


  • Proteoglycans