Preferential accumulation of activated Th1 cells not only in rheumatoid arthritis but also in osteoarthritis joints

Hisakata Yamada, Yasuharu Nakashima, Ken Okazaki, Taro Mawatari, Jun Ichi Fukushi, Akiko Oyamada, Kenjiro Fujimura, Yukihide Iwamoto, Yasunobu Yoshikai

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. It was previously found that Th1 but not Th17 cells were predominant in the joints of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). To verify whether this is a unique feature of CD4 T cells in RA joints, we performed comparative flow cytometric analysis of CD4 T cells in RA and osteoarthritis (OA) joints. Methods. Mononuclear cells were isolated from peripheral blood (PB), synovial membrane (SM), and synovial fluid (SF) from a total of 18 RA and 12 OA patients. The expression of surface molecules and cytokine production of CD4 T cells was examined by a flow cytometer. Results. Most CD4 T cells in RA joints expressed memory/activation markers, such as CD45RO, HLA-DR, and CD69. CCR5 was highly expressed on CD4 T cells in SF but not in PB or SM. With regard to Th17-related molecules, CD4 T cells expressing CCR6 were not enriched in either SF or SM. In contrast, CD161-positive cells were abundant in the joint, many of which, however, produced interferon-γ but not interleukin 17A. Virtually all T cells in OA joints, although much less numerous than in RA joints, expressed activation markers. Th1 cells were predominant in both OA and RA joints, while there were a few Th17 cells. The frequency of Th17 cells in the joint tended to be lower in OA than RA. Conclusion. There was a quantitative but not qualitative difference in CD4 T cells, including the expression of activation markers and cytokine profiles, between RA and OA joints. The Journal of Rheumatology

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1569-1575
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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