Future trends in the immunopathology of rheumatoid arthritis

Part of the Inflammation: Mechanisms and Treatment book series (FTIN, volume 4)


In the immunopathology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), two reactions occur simultaneously. One is an exudative, immune complex-induced reaction which is most obviously manifest in the synovial effusion. This phase of RA has been well described1. In this reaction there is activation of complement with the generation of chemotactic factors, lowering of complement levels and exudation of polymorphonuclear (PMN) cells. Lysosomal enzymes are released from both the phagocytic lining cells of the synovial membrane and from the polymorphonuclear cells of the effusion. These enzymes participate in the amplification of the immune complex phase of rheumatoid synovitis, mainly by activation of components of the complement sequence. This immune complex phase of rheumatoid synovitis contributes in a major fashion to the symptomatology of the disease. It is also responsible, through the release of proteolytic enzymes and collagenase into the joint fluid, for much of the erosion of cartilage which occurs in this disease.


Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Membrane Rheumatoid Factor Infectious Mononucleosis Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Membrane 
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Copyright information

© MTP Press Limited 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ziff
    • 1
  1. 1.USA

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