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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Modulation by proinflammatory cytokines of Fas/Fas ligand- mediated apoptotic cell death of synovial cells in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Synovial cell hyperplasia is a characteristic of patients with RA. Excessive proliferation of RA synovial cells is, in part, responsible for the synovial cell hyperplasia. In addition, synovial cell death that would reduce synovial cell number may be defective, leading to the hyperplasia. Thus, the defective control of cell death as well as cell proliferation may be of central importance in the pathogenesis of RA. In this study we analysed effects of proinflammatory cytokines on Fas/Fas ligand (FasL)-induced synovial cell apoptosis, and evaluated apoptosis-associated protein expression in the synovial cells in patients with RA. RA synovial cells expressed Fas antigen and lymphocytes infiltrating into RA synovium expressed FasL. Apoptotic synovial cells were detected within the sublining layer of RA synovium. Anti-Fas MoAb induced apoptosis of RA synovial cells in vitro, and proinflammatory cytokines tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and IL-1beta, but not IL-6 or IL-8, inhibited the anti-Fas-induced apoptosis accompanying up-regulation of Bcl-2 protein expression and reduced expression of CPP32 and ICH-1L. Immunohistochemical study revealed that CPP32 and ICH-1L were expressed weakly in the RA synovial lining cells compared with osteoarthritis (OA) synovial lining cells. Thus, we found that although RA synovial cells could die via apoptosis through Fas/FasL pathway, apoptosis of synovial cells was inhibited by proinflammatory cytokines present within the synovium. Inhibition of apoptosis by the proinflammatory cytokines may contribute outgrowth of synovial cells that leads to pannus formation and the destruction of joints in patients with RA.[1]


  1. Modulation by proinflammatory cytokines of Fas/Fas ligand-mediated apoptotic cell death of synovial cells in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Wakisaka, S., Suzuki, N., Takeba, Y., Shimoyama, Y., Nagafuchi, H., Takeno, M., Saito, N., Yokoe, T., Kaneko, A., Asai, T., Sakane, T. Clin. Exp. Immunol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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