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Am J Pathol. 1989 Jul;135(1):1-5.

Immunohistochemical localization of HTLV-I p19- and p24-related antigens in synovial joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Medicine, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.


In formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded synovial tissues from patients with early proliferative rheumatoid arthritis (RA), immunoreactivity could be demonstrated utilizing monoclonal IgG antibodies reactive with the p19 and p24 protein of human T cell leukemia virus (HTLV-I). Additionally, surgical specimens of fresh unfixed synovial tissues from patients with RA also demonstrated immunoreactivity. At the light microscopic level, both HTLV-I antigens were detected in approximately 45% of the rheumatoid synovial tissues by the immunocolloidal gold method with silver enhancement (IGSS) and the avidin-biotin-complex technique (ABC), whereas six of eight of the frozen RA specimens stained positive by immunofluorescence. Patients whose synovial tissues were immunoreactive by immunofluorescence were seronegative to HTLV-I antigens as determined by ELISA and immunoblotting. Conversely, cases with osteoarthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, Dupuytren's contracture, and gangrene were shown to be nonreactive by immunohistochemistry. The results indicate that expression of antigens is related to or crossreactive with HTLV-I in synovial tissues from patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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