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Springer Semin Immunopathol. 1989;11(3):219-34.

Potential mechanisms for coordinate gene activation in the rheumatoid synoviocyte: implications and hypotheses.

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Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York University Medical Center, NY 10003.


Evidence is reviewed to support the concept that synovial cells in rheumatoid arthritis have undergone distinctive alterations at the cellular and subcellular level that result in their taking on some of the characteristics that are also manifest by transformed cells. These phenotypic modulations could be indirectly driven by cytokines in a paracrine or autocrine fashion. Specific regional patterns of cell phenotype modulation were used to argue against a simple widely diffusing direct inductive effect to cytokines and in favor of microenvironmental determinants. It is hypothesized that these extracellular factors induce novel activation in a coordinate manner by acting through master regulatory genes operating in cells with specific microenvironmental interactions. Two of these regulatory genes, fos and jun, are discussed in detail because of their induction by growth factors and their central role in the transactivation of genes which have been implicated in rheumatoid synovitis. A model for gene activation in the rheumatoid synovium is proposed based on the premise that fos and jun are an important link in the intracellular transduction pathways used by cytokines to induce cellular phenotypic changes.

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