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J Rheumatol. 1994 Dec;21(12):2184-9.

Levels of hepatocyte growth factor in synovial fluid and serum of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and release of hepatocyte growth factor by rheumatoid synovial fluid cells.

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Yukioka Hospital, Second Department of Internal Medicine, Osaka City University Medical School, Japan.



To determine the levels of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in synovial fluids (SF) and sera from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA); to examine how these correlate with several disease variables in patients with RA and with levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in SF of these patients; and to examine whether HGF is released from adherent synovial cells (ASC) and synovial fluid cells (SF cells).


An enzyme linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure levels of HGF and IL-6. SF samples were obtained from 22 patients with RA, 12 with osteoarthritis (OA), and one with septic arthritis. Serum samples were collected from 40 patients with RA. HGF levels in culture supernatants from ASC and SF cells were measured.


The mean values of HGF in SF were 1.21 ng/ml for patients with RA, 0.19 ng/ml for those with OA and 0.18 ng/ml for the one with septic arthritis. HGF levels in SF of patients with RA were significantly higher than of those with OA (p < 0.01). The levels for patients with RA correlated with the serum C-reactive protein concentrations (r = 0.626, p < 0.01) and IL-6 levels in SF (r = 0.476, p < 0.05). The mean value of HGF in sera from patients with RA was 0.28 ng/ml. HGF levels in SF were higher than those in sera drawn simultaneously from the same patients with RA. In vitro, release of HGF from rheumatoid ASC was not detected. However, SF cells from patients with RA released HGF spontaneously.


Our observations suggest that HGF in SF of patients with RA is produced by SF cells and is related to disease activity of RA, and thus that HGF may play a role in RA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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