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Rheumatol Int. 1986;6(6):263-8.

Spontaneous immunoglobulin synthesis by peripheral mononuclear cells in active rheumatoid arthritis.


Spontaneous production of immunoglobulins (Igs) by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in vitro was investigated to assess B cell activity in a group of 24 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with or without active joint disease and with or without rheumatoid vasculitis (RV) at the time of study. PBMC of patients with active arthritis (Ritchie index above 16) produced significantly more IgG and IgA than those of patients with inactive joint disease or those of 12 healthy controls. Enhanced production of IgG was found mainly among RA patients with concomitant RV, whereas markedly enhanced IgA production could also be found in patients without symptoms of RV. IgM production was only enhanced in two patients who had both active arthritis and RV. High production of IgG and IgA was probably due to increased numbers of Ig-secreting cells among freshly isolated PBMC, since the concentrations of Ig produced in vitro rose steadily, starting on day 0 and persisting throughout the entire culture period. Moreover, IgG and IgA concentrations measured after 7 days of culture showed significant correlations with the numbers of IgG- and IgA-containing plasma cells in PBMC on day 0. Comparison of the spontaneous production of Igs by PBMC with the levels of circulating immune complexes (CIC), showed that CIC levels were also significantly higher in active arthritis and in RV, but that there was no correlation between the CIC levels in individual patients and Ig production by their PBMC in vitro.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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