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Eur J Immunol. 1991 Dec;21(12):2937-41.

Limiting dilution analysis of proliferative T cell responses to mycobacterial 65-kDa heat-shock protein fails to show significant frequency differences between synovial fluid and peripheral blood of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Rheumatology Unit UMDS, Guy's Hospital, London, GB.


Recent evidence has pointed to the mycobacterial 65-kDa heat-shock protein (hsp 65) as an antigen that may be important in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Using limiting dilution analysis the frequency of purified protein derivative of tuberculin (PPD) and hsp 65-responsive T cells was measured in paired peripheral blood and synovial fluid samples of patients with RA. There was no increase in the anti-PPD or anti-hsp 65 frequency in synovial fluid compared with peripheral blood. In addition, no difference was found between peripheral blood of RA patients and healthy controls. These results do not support the idea of an important pathogenic role of T cells responding to hsp 65, or a cross-reacting antigen, in RA.

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