A type II collagen-specific arthritogenic lymphokine has been identified in the rat. Arthritogenic factor (AF) is a 65 kD protein generated in vitro by T cells from rats with collagen arthritis, and it induces an erosive, proliferative synovitis when injected into the knee joint of syngeneic naive recipients. Complement does not appear to be required. These data identify a potential T cell-mediated effector mechanism in this model, and suggest that AF may function in other inflammatory synovial diseases.

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