Role and Regulation of Synovial MHC Class II Antigens in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Related Diseases

  • L. Klareskog
Conference paper


Class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) transplantation antigens constitute, in addition to a processed antigen and the T cell receptor, the trimolecular complex which governs most T cell-dependent immune reactions [1]. Evidence that MHC class II-dependent T lymphocyte activation is critically involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as well as in other inflammatory arthritides derives from a series of indirect but — taken together — convincing findings. Genetic data suggest that the linkage between RA and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes can be traced back to structural differences in distinct MHC class I subunits [2]. A massive increase in class II expressing cells as well as in activated T cells in the inflamed synovial tissue indicate that local class II-dependent T cell activation can take place in synovial tissue [3–5]. Treatment with human immunoglobulin fractions enriched for anti-class II antibodies [6] as well as with mouse anti-CD 4 monoclonal antibodies [7] may diminish disease activity in RA.


Rheumatoid Arthritis Major Histocompatibility Complex Major Histocompatibility Complex Class Synovial Tissue Reactive Arthritis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Klareskog
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical ImmunologyUppsala University HospitalUppsalaSweden

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