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Cell-cell interactions in synovitis: Interactions between T lymphocytes and synovial cells

Iain B McInnes, Bernard P Leung and Foo Y Liew

Author Affiliations

Centre for Rheumatic Diseases and Department of Immunology and Bacteriology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

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Arthritis Res 2000, 2:374-378  doi:10.1186/ar115

Published: 18 July 2000


Mechanisms whereby T lymphocytes contribute to synovial inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis are poorly understood. Here we review data that indicate an important role for cell contact between synovial T cells, adjacent macrophages and fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS). Thus, T cells activated by cytokines, endothelial transmigration, extracellular matrix or by auto-antigens can promote cytokine, particularly TNFα, metalloproteinase production by macrophages and FLS through cell-membrane interactions, mediated at least through β-integrins and membrane cytokines. Since soluble factors thus induced may in turn contribute directly to T cell activation, positive feedback loops are likely to be created. These novel pathways represent exciting potential therapeutic targets.

adhesion molecule; cell contact; cytokine; T lymphocyte; rheumatoid arthritis