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Arthritis Res. 2000;2(5):374-8. Epub 2000 Jul 18.

Cell-cell interactions in synovitis. Interactions between T lymphocytes and synovial cells.

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  • 1Centre for Rheumatic Diseases, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK. i.b.mcinnes@clinmed.gla.ac.uk


Mechanisms whereby T lymphocytes contribute to synovial inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis are poorly understood. Here we review data that indicate an important role for cell contact between synovial T cells, adjacent macrophages and fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS). Thus, T cells activated by cytokines, endothelial transmigration, extracellular matrix or by auto-antigens can promote cytokine, particularly TNF alpha, metalloproteinase production by macrophages and FLS through cell-membrane interactions, mediated at least through beta-integrins and membrane cytokines. Since soluble factors thus induced may in turn contribute directly to T cell activation, positive feedback loops are likely to be created. These novel pathways represent exciting potential therapeutic targets.

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