, Volume 28, Issue 10, pp 979-986
Date: 01 Apr 2008

High levels of Lymphotoxin-Beta (LT-Beta) gene expression in rheumatoid arthritis synovium: clinical and cytokine correlations

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Abstract

Lymphotoxin-Beta (LT-Beta) is implicated in lymphoid follicle development, production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and can enhance the proliferation of fibroblasts and synoviocytes. The objective of this study was to investigate LT-Beta and LT-BetaReceptor (LT-BetaR) gene expression in RA patient synovium and blood samples compared with control individuals, and correlate with LT-Alpha and TNF-Alpha gene expression and disease parameters. RT-PCR was used to investigate the gene expression of LT-Beta, LT-BetaR, TNF-Alpha and LT-Alpha in the blood and synovium of RA patients and a control group of individuals. LT-Beta gene expression was significantly higher in RA patient synovium compared to control synovium (P = 0.005). There was a significant positive correlation between LT-Beta and LT-Alpha gene expression in both the synovium (P = 0.001) and blood (P = 0.002) of RA patients. LT-Beta gene expression was significantly higher in RA patient synovial samples that were inflamed to a moderately severe degree compared to those inflamed to a minimal degree (P = 0.02). Analysis of clinical variables revealed a significant positive correlation between LT-BetaR gene expression in RA patient synovium and Pain VAS Score (P = 0.01) and also HAQ Score (P = 0.01). Increased LT-Beta gene expression occurs in RA synovium and correlates with the degree of inflammation. LT-Beta may play a role in RA disease pathogenesis by contributing to a more intense inflammatory reaction in the synovium.