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OBJECTIVE: We have previously described the location of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha)-producing cells in synovial tissue and cartilage-pannus junction in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). To further understand the local actions of TNF alpha, we investigated the expression of TNF receptors (TNF-R) on cells in the same compartments in patients with RA. METHODS: The expression of both p55 TNF-R and p75 TNF-R was determined using alkaline phosphatase-conjugated mouse anti-alkaline phosphatase (APAAP) and double immunofluorescence staining techniques with monoclonal antibodies. RESULTS: In RA synovial membrane, both p55 TNF-R and p75 TNF-R were detectable in up to 90% of the cells in the lining layer, and were demonstrated on cells in deeper layers of the membrane, including vascular endothelial cells. Cells in lymphoid aggregates expressed both TNF-R, but with a predominant expression of p75 receptor. At the cartilage-pannus junction, the majority of pannus cells, especially those invading cartilage, expressed both the p55 and the p75 TNF-R. Sequential section and double immunofluorescence staining showed that the TNF-R-expressing cells were in the vicinity of TNF alpha-containing cells, and some TNF alpha-containing cells also expressed TNF-R. TNF-R-expressing cells were also detected in osteoarthritic and normal synovial tissue, but in smaller numbers and at a lower intensity. CONCLUSION: These results provide histologic evidence that both p55 TNF-R and p75 TNF-R are expressed by a variety of cell types in RA synovial tissue, reflecting the fact that a wide range of cells are potential targets for TNF alpha in this tissue. This study further supports the hypothesis that TNF alpha plays a major role in the pathogenesis of RA.

Original publication

DOI

10.1002/art.1780351009

Type

Journal article

Journal

Arthritis and rheumatism

Publication Date

10/1992

Volume

35

Pages

1170 - 1178

Addresses

Mathilda and Terence Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Bute Gardens and Sunley Research Centre, London, England, UK.

Keywords

Cartilage, Articular, Synovial Membrane, Humans, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha, Receptors, Cell Surface, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Immunoenzyme Techniques, Molecular Weight