Enhanced neutral protease activity in proliferating rheumatoid synovial cells

Victor B. Hatcher, Joanne P. Borg, Mindy Levitt, Carol Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Proteolytic enzymes associated with rheumatoid synovial cells (RSC) have been implicated in the degradation of articular cartilage. Proteases have been measured in proliferating rheumatoid synovial cells (P‐RSC), proliferating nonrheumatoid synovial cells (P‐NSC), and their nonproliferating counterparts (NP‐RSC and NP‐NSC). The P‐RSC and P‐NSC exhibit enhanced total surface‐associated plus secreted neutral protease activity, as compared with NP‐RSC and NP‐NSC. The P‐RSC exhibited significantly higher protease activity in this category compared to P‐NSC. The RSC also secreted higher levels of secreted proteases alone compared to NSC. The secreted protease activity alone was not related to the proliferative state of the cells. Extractable protease activity was measured in early‐passaged and serially‐passaged P‐RSC, NP‐RSC, P‐NSC, and NP‐NSC. Extractable cellular protease activity measured at pH ranges from 5.0 through 8.0 was not significantly different between P‐RSC and NP‐RSC or between P‐NSC and NP‐NSC. The RSC contained elevated extractable cellular protease activity measured at pH ranges from 5.0 through 8.0 compared to extracts from later‐passaged cells. The neutral protease activity in the early‐passaged RSC was also higher than that measured at pH 6.0 or 8.0. In synovial cells cellular protease activity was related to the proliferative state and the origin of the cells. The P‐RSC exhibited the highest levels of surface associated plus secreted neutral protease activity. The RSC also possessed the highest levels of extractable protease activity compared to NSC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-926
Number of pages8
JournalArthritis & Rheumatism
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1981


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this