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The immunohistological features of rheumatoid nodules and rheumatoid synovium were examined using monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies raised against macrophages, HLA-DR, leucocyte common antigen, and immunoglobulin components. The palisading cells surrounding the necrotic centre of the rheumatoid nodule were shown to be HLA-DR positive leucocytes, mostly histiocytes. The inflammatory infiltrate associated with rheumatoid nodules showed many immunohistochemical similarities to that of rheumatoid synovium, including a preponderance of IgG positive plasma cells, and a similar number and microanatomical pattern of distribution of HLA-DR positive cells. The significance of these findings for the cellular immunopathology and aetiology of the rheumatoid lesion is discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Annals of the rheumatic diseases

Publication Date





398 - 403


Nuffield Department of Pathology, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital.


Synovial Membrane, Leukocytes, Humans, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Rheumatoid Nodule, Antigens, CD45, Antigens, Differentiation, Histocompatibility Antigens, HLA-DR Antigens, Immunoenzyme Techniques