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J Rheumatol. 2000 Feb;27(2):339-46.

Cells expressing dendritic cell markers are present in the rheumatoid nodule.

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Department of Medicine, University of Otago Medical School, Dunedin, New Zealand.



To determine if dendritic antigen-presenting cells (DC) are present in rheumatoid nodules, as has been reported in the synovial lesions of rheumatoid arthritis.


Nodules (n = 14) were examined with monoclonal antibodies (Mab) recognizing the DC differentiation/activation markers CD83, CMRF44, and CMRF56 and an antibody recognizing the CD1a antigen present on epithelial tissue associated DC. Results. Cells expressing CMRF44 were common in rheumatoid nodules, comprising 22% of nucleated cells versus 13% in synovial membranes (n = 10). Cells positive for CD1a (5%) and CD83 (2%) were less common. A majority (86%) of CMRF44 positive cells were also positive for the macrophage marker CD14. This left a significant minority of putative DC that were single stained with CMRF44.


Cells bearing DC markers are as frequent in the rheumatoid nodule as in the synovial lesions. A majority are "indeterminate" cells that are CD14 positive but a proportion are single stained putative DC. The lack of lymphoid collections containing DC and T and B lymphocytes in the nodule suggests that local presentation of antigen may not occur in the rheumatoid nodule, as is thought to be the case in synovial membranes containing lymphoid follicles. This difference could potentially be explained by different states of activation, and differentiation of DC within the 2 lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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