Synovial microenvironment-T cell interactions. Human T cells bind to fibroblast-like synovial cells in vitro.
Synovitis in rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by infiltration of the synovium by T and B lymphocytes and monocytes, as well as by the proliferation of synovial lining cells, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells. To study synovial cell-T cell interactions in vitro, we established cultures of fibroblast-like synovial cells, and used these cells in a synovial cell-T cell binding assay. Using T cells at various stages of differentiation and activation, we found that human thymocytes and mitogen-activated peripheral blood T cells bound to fibroblast-like synovial cells, whereas fresh peripheral blood T cells did not. Moreover, activated T cells from inflammatory synovial tissue or from synovial fluid also bound to fibroblast-like synovial cells cultured in vivo. Antibodies against certain epitopes of the T cell CD2 (35.1) and synovial cell lymphocyte function-associated antigen-3 (LFA-3) (TS2/9) molecules inhibited synovial cell-thymocyte binding. However, these same anti-CD2 and anti-LFA-3 antibodies only partially inhibited synovial cell binding to activated normal peripheral blood T cells. Moreover, T cells from inflammatory synovium from rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis patients also bound to synovial cells in vitro. These findings demonstrate that fibroblast-like synovial cells are capable of binding to human T cells in vitro, and suggest that during the course of inflammatory synovitis, synovial fibroblast-T cell interactions may occur in vivo.
Haynes, BF; Grover, BJ; Whichard, LP; Hale, LP; Nunley, JA; McCollum, DE; Singer, KH
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