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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


Ann rheum dis

Publication Date





398 - 403


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