Conflicting data have been reported regarding the presence or absence of a predominant variable (V) region T-cell receptor (TCR) gene in the peripheral blood or synovial fluid of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this study we have used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to compare the level of TCR Vβ gene expression by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and by synovial fluid cells obtained from HLA DRB1 *0401 and *0404 RA patients. PCR was performed using cDNA synthesized from freshly obtained cells (not stimulated in vitro). The pattern of expression observed for most of the Vβ genes studied showed either preferential expression by PBMC or similar levels of expression between PBMC and synovial fluid T-cells. However, among individual patients (N = 5), several Vβ genes were identified that were expressed to a significantly greater degree by synovial fluid cells. Vβ14 expression was detected in PBMC of all patients and the level of transcripts encoding Vβ14 increased following stimulation with immobilized anti-CD3 and IL-2. In vitro manipulation of populations of T-cells was found to alter the level of expressed Vβ gene products. A Vβ gene common to all patients that was consistently deleted from PBMC or expressed to a greater degree by resident, unsorted synovial fluid cells compared to PBMC was not identified.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine