B-Cell Subsets in the Joint Compartments of Seropositive and Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and No-RA Arthritides Express Memory Markers and ZAP70 and Characterize the Aggregate Pattern Irrespectively of the Autoantibody Status
The aim of the present study was to determine whether different subsets of B cells characterize synovial fluid (SF) or synovial tissue (ST) of seropositive or seronegative rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with respect to the peripheral blood (PB). PB, SF and ST of 14 autoantibody (AB)-positive (rheumatoid factor (RF)-IgM, RF-IgA, anti-citrullinated peptide (CCP)), 13 negative RA and 13 no-RA chronic arthritides were examined for B-cell subsets (Bm1-Bm5 and IgD-CD27 classifications), zeta-associated protein kinase-70 (ZAP70) expression on B cells and cytokine levels (interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-6, IL-8 and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1). Synovial tissues were classified as aggregate and diffuse patterns. No differences were found in B-cell percentages or in subsets in PB and SF between AB+ and AB− RA and no-RA. In both AB+ and AB− RA (and no-RA), the percentage of CD19+/ZAP70+ was higher in SF than in PB (AB+: P= 0.03; AB−: P = 0.01; no-RA: P = 0.01). Moreover, SF of both AB+ and AB− RA (and no-RA) patients was characterized by a higher percentage of IgD-CD27+ and IgD-CD27− B cells and lower percentage of IgD+CD27− (P < 0.05) B cells compared to PB. In SF, ZAP70 positivity is more represented in B cell CD27+/IgD−/CD38−. The aggregate synovitis pattern was characterized by higher percentages of Bm5 cells in SF compared with the diffuse pattern (P = 0.05). These data suggest that no difference exists between AB+ and AB− in B-cell subset compartmentalization. CD27+/IgD−/ZAP70+ memory B cells accumulate preferentially in the joints of RA, suggesting a dynamic maturation of the B cells in this compartment.
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