Mast cells are believed to play a novel part in the development of destructive synovial pannus in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study was undertaken to investigate the localization of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the synovial membrane using a unique immunostaining technique. Synovial specimens of RA patients were examined immunohistochemically and were compared with specimens from non-RA controls. Multi-labelling subtraction immunostaining, a modification of double- and triple-labelling immunostaining, revealed that the VEGF-positive cells were identical to tryptase-positive cells (mast cells). No other cell types were found to be positive for VEGF. The synovium of RA patients showed a larger number of VEGF-positive mast cells than that of non-RA controls (P < 0.001). The study suggests that mast cell-derived VEGF may contribute to the development of synovial pannus in RA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology