Tγδ cells and their subsets in blood and synovial tissue from rheumatoid arthritis patients

M. D. Smith, B. Broker, L. Moretta, E. Ciccone, C. E. Grossi, J. C W Edwards, F. Yuksel, B. Colaco, C. Worman, L. Mackenzie, R. Kinne, G. Weseloh, K. Gluckert, P. M. Lydyard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have examined the frequencies of Tγδ cells in blood, synovial fluids, and synovial membranes of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and in blood from age-matched controls. Immunocyto-chemical and immunohistochemical techniques were used with monoclonal antibodies BB3 and A13 to define a major and minor blood subset of Tγδ cells respectively. Together, these antibodies identify the majority (if not all) of the peripheral blood Tγδ cells. Significantly lower levels of Tγδ cells were found in the blood of RA patients compared with controls, whilst higher but not significant numbers were found in the synovial fluids of paired samples. Scattered Tγδ cells were found only in some synovial membranes with a distribution similar to the Tαβ cells. Analysis of the two different Tγδ-cell subsets indicated a ratio of BB3 to A13 of about 5:1 in control and RA blood. However, this ratio was less than 1:1 in the RA synovial fluids and membranes. The migratory nature of the A13+ cells could account for their predominance in these sites. The possible pathological significance of these cells in the rhuematoid synovial fluid and synovial membranes is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-593
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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