Expression of chemokines and matrix metalloproteinases in early rheumatoid arthritis

A. Katrib, P. P. Tak, J. V. Bertouch, C. Cuello, H. P. McNeil, T. J M Smeets, M. C. Kraan, P. P. Youssef*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To compare macrophage infiltration and expression of chemokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in synovial tissue between patients with early and long-standing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods. Knee synovial biopsies were taken from 22 patients with early (<1 yr) and 22 patients with long-standing (>5 yr) RA and immunostained with antibodies specific for CD68; macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1; MMP-1 and -3 and the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 and -2. Immunostaining was quantified using a colour video image analysis system. Results. CD68+ macrophage infiltration and the expression of MIP-1α, MCP-1, MMP-1, MMP-3, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 were observed in synovial tissue of patients with early RA. In long-standing RA, there was a further increase in CD68+ macrophage infiltration and MIP-1α expression in the synovial lining layer. CD68 expression correlated with MIP-1α (R = 0.39, P = 0.01), but not with MCP-1 expression. Conclusion. Macrophage accumulation, and the expression of chemokines and MMPs in synovial tissue occur in early RA. Targeting chemokines which play a role in the migration of macrophages into the joints may be of therapeutic benefit in RA patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-994
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemokines
  • Matrix metalloproteinases
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases


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