PMCCPMCCPMCC

Search tips
Search criteria 

Advanced

 
Logo of annrheumdAnnals of the Rheumatic DiseasesVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
 
Ann Rheum Dis. 1993 March; 52(3): 182–184.
PMCID: PMC1005014

Giant cells in arthritic synovium.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Giant cells are commonly present in inflamed synovium, often in close association with the intimal layer. The nature of these multinucleate cells has been reassessed using new cytochemical and immunochemical techniques. METHODS: Cryostat sections of non-inflamed, rheumatoid arthritic and osteoarthritic synovia were analysed for the presence of CD68 and non-specific esterase, markers associated with macrophages; activity of uridine diphosphoglucose dehydrogenase, associated with fibroblast-like synoviocytes; and tartrate resistant acid phosphatase and the vitronectin receptor subunit CD51, associated with osteoclasts. RESULTS: Giant cells were not seen in non-inflamed tissue. In diseased tissue giant cells in the intimal layer fell into two major groups: CD68 negative or dull cells with high uridine diphosphoglucose dehydrogenase (UDPGD) activity suggestive of true synoviocyte polykaryons; and CD68 positive cells with low UDPGD activity suggestive of macrophage polykaryons. The two groups were seen in samples from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and patients with osteoarthritis (OA), but the former were more prominent in OA and the latter in RA. Most CD68 positive giant cells also showed tartrate resistant acid phosphatase activity and prominent expression of CD51. As such they were histochemically indistinguishable from osteoclasts, but their bone resorbing capacity remains unknown. CONCLUSIONS: Giant cells in arthritic synovium appear to be of two types, one related to true synoviocytes and one to macrophages.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.0M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Grimley PM, Sokoloff L. Synovial giant cells in rheumatoid arthritis. Am J Pathol. 1966 Nov;49(5):931–954. [PubMed]
  • Chambers TJ. Multinucleate giant cells. J Pathol. 1978 Nov;126(3):125–148. [PubMed]
  • Vaes G. Cellular biology and biochemical mechanism of bone resorption. A review of recent developments on the formation, activation, and mode of action of osteoclasts. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1988 Jun;(231):239–271. [PubMed]
  • Marks SC, Jr, Popoff SN. Bone cell biology: the regulation of development, structure, and function in the skeleton. Am J Anat. 1988 Sep;183(1):1–44. [PubMed]
  • Wilkinson LS, Pitsillides AA, Worrall JG, Edwards JC. Light microscopic characterization of the fibroblast-like synovial intimal cell (synoviocyte). Arthritis Rheum. 1992 Oct;35(10):1179–1184. [PubMed]
  • Mehdizadeh S, Bitensky L, Chayen J. The assay of uridine diphosphoglucose dehydrogenase activity: discrimination from xanthine dehydrogenase activity. Cell Biochem Funct. 1991 Apr;9(2):103–110. [PubMed]
  • Franklin WA, Mason DY, Pulford K, Falini B, Bliss E, Gatter KC, Stein H, Clarke LC, McGee JO. Immunohistological analysis of human mononuclear phagocytes and dendritic cells by using monoclonal antibodies. Lab Invest. 1986 Mar;54(3):322–335. [PubMed]
  • Horton MA, Lewis D, McNulty K, Pringle JA, Chambers TJ. Monoclonal antibodies to osteoclastomas (giant cell bone tumors): definition of osteoclast-specific cellular antigens. Cancer Res. 1985 Nov;45(11 Pt 2):5663–5669. [PubMed]
  • GOMORI G. Histochemistry of human esterases. J Histochem Cytochem. 1955 Nov;3(6):479–484. [PubMed]
  • BARKA T. A simple azo-dye method for histochemical demonstration of acid phosphatase. Nature. 1960 Jul 16;187:248–249. [PubMed]
  • Yam LT, Li CY, Lam KW. Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase isoenzyme in the reticulum cells of leukemic reticuloendotheliosis. N Engl J Med. 1971 Feb 18;284(7):357–360. [PubMed]
  • Athanasou NA, Alvarez JI, Ross FP, Quinn JM, Teitelbaum SL. Species differences in the immunophenotype of osteoclasts and mononuclear phagocytes. Calcif Tissue Int. 1992 May;50(5):427–432. [PubMed]
  • Enelow RI, Sullivan GW, Carper HT, Mandell GL. Induction of multinucleated giant cell formation from in vitro culture of human monocytes with interleukin-3 and interferon-gamma: comparison with other stimulating factors. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 1992 Jan;6(1):57–62. [PubMed]

Articles from Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group