Expression of the C3 receptors CR1 and CR3 was investigated on neutrophils from paired peripheral blood and synovial fluid samples from 34 patients with inflammatory joint disease (21 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 13 patients with other articular diseases (OAD)). Using monoclonal antibodies (anti-CD35, anti-CD11b) and immunofluorescence flow cytometric analyses the percentages of positively labeled cells and the relative fluorescence intensities (as a measure of receptor number) were determined. CR1 and CR3 were found to be present on the majority (> 85%) of circulating neutrophils from normal subjects, RA and OAD patients, and on synovial fluid neutrophils from both patient groups. A strong correlation between neutrophil CR1 and CR3 expression was observed in peripheral blood samples from normal subjects (r = 0.81; P = 0.001), RA (r = 0.79; P = 0.001), and OAD patients (r = 0.83; P = 0.001); in each case the levels of CR3 expression were approximately twice those recorded for CR1. Both CR1 and CR3 expression was upregulated on synovial fluid neutrophils compared with that observed on the corresponding peripheral blood cells. Mean percentage increases observed were: RA patients: CR1, 16.5% (P < 0.001) and CR3, 28.7% (P < 0.001); and OAD patients: CR1, 4.1% and CR3, 26.9% (P = 0.001). Correlation of serum and synovial fluid IL-6, IL-8, and immune complex levels with neutrophil CR1 and CR3 expression failed to demonstrate any significant relationship between the concentrations of these soluble factors and receptor expression. Upregulation of CR1 and CR3 receptors, reflecting neutrophil activation within the inflamed joint, is a consistent finding in patients with inflammatory arthropathies.
A. Crockard, J. Thompson, S. J. Mcbride
Clinical immunology and immunopathology