Elevated nerve growth factor levels in the synovial fluid of patients with inflammatory joint disease

Dale A. Halliday, Christian Zettler, Robert A. Rush, Raffaele Scicchitano, Julian D. McNeil

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    A novel pH shock extraction procedure was used to measure nerve growth factor (NGF) levels in both normal and inflamed synovial fluids using a sensitive and specific two-site enzyme linked immunosorbant assay. To date no data is available on NGF levels in normal synovial fluids. Synovial fluids were taken from 5 normal volunteers, 12 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 10 patients with other inflammatory arthropathies. The mean ± SEM NGF concentration in normal synovial fluids was 95 ± 33.2 pg/ml (range 39.1- 143.1 pg/ml), whereas the mean NGF concentration in the synovial fluids taken from patients with rheumatoid arthritis was 532.5 ± 123.8 pg/ml (range 152- 1686 pg/ml). The mean NGF concentration in patients with other inflammatory arthropathies was also raised (430.6 ± 90 pg/ml; range 89-1071 pg/ml). The NGF concentrations were significantly higher in the synovial fluids from both inflamed groups (ANOVA p < 0.05) compared to normals. Raised levels of NGF in synovial fluid may contribute directly to joint inflammation via activation of inflammatory cells.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)919-922
    Number of pages4
    JournalNeurochemical Research
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1998


    • Arthritis
    • Inflammation
    • Nerve growth factor
    • Pain
    • Synovial fluid


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