Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract To investigate the mechanism of synovial pannus formation in rheumatoid arthritis, immunohistochemical and immunoelectron microscopic studies with monoclonal antibodies against the adhesion molecules, CD54 (ICAM-1), CD 11a (LFA-1), CDw49a (VLA-1), CDw49b (VLA-2), CDw49c (VLA-3), Cdw49d (VLA-4) and CDw49e (VLA-5), were carried out to determine the pattern of distribution of these molecules at the rheumatoid synovial cartilage junction. Treatment with anti-ICAM-1 resulted in membrane staining of most of the macrophages and fibroblasts infiltrating the synovial tissue and bordering the pannus-cartilage junction, suggesting the possibility that ICAM-1 may function to facilitate the adhesion of synovial type A cells bearing ICAM-1 to type B cells of the pannus. ICAM-1-positive macrophages and fibroblasts were often found to be in contact with lymphoid cells, suggesting also that a cellular immune reaction occurs in the formation of the pannus. In addition, VLA-3, VLA-4 and, particularly, VLA-5 were the predominantβ1 integrins expressed by rheumatoid synovial pannus. Since these three integrins all function as fibronectin receptors, it is possible that the fibronectin-rich environment of the rheumatoid cartilage surface effectively traps pannus cells expressing high levels of these molecules. The VLA-5 molecule was found in a pericellular and interterritorial matrix distribution in the present study, strongly suggesting that a recepfor-ligand interaction between VLA-5 and cartilage matrix may occur at the early stage of pannus formation. Furthermore, an increase inβ1 integrin may be necessary for the growth of the pannus and also for the upregulation of the VLA molecules, leading secondarily to increased attachment.
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