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In the present study we have characterized the gamma/delta T cell receptor (TcR) population in synovial fluid (SF) and peripheral blood (PB) of patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis. By double staining we have shown that (a) synovial V delta 1+ cells have a high expression of activation markers CD45R0 ("memory cells") and HLA-DR as compared to PB, indicating a preactivated population of V delta 1-carrying T cells in vivo and (b) interleukin 2-induced expansion of synovial cells yields a high proportion of gamma/delta in most samples expressing predominantly the V delta 1 TcR. Junctional sequence analysis of the TcR delta chain from interleukin 2-expanded PB cell lines demonstrated a polyclonal V delta 1 population in three out of three samples. In SF cell lines three out of four samples were polyclonally expanded. In SF from one patient, however, a limited repertoire of expressed V delta 1 genes was found. Altogether, our data demonstrate the presence of preactivated V delta 1-expressing cells in the synovial compartment. This V delta 1 population is predominantly polyclonal, except in one patient where oligoclonally expanded V delta 1 cells were detected.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur j immunol

Publication Date





567 - 574


Antigens, CD, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Base Sequence, Flow Cytometry, Gene Rearrangement, delta-Chain T-Cell Antigen Receptor, HLA-DR Antigens, Histocompatibility Antigens, Humans, Integrin beta1, Leukocyte Common Antigens, Lymphocyte Activation, Molecular Sequence Data, Oligodeoxyribonucleotides, Polymerase Chain Reaction, RNA, Messenger, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta, Synovial Fluid, T-Lymphocyte Subsets