The seronegative arthritides constitute an important class of chronic inflammatory arthritides of unknown etiology. The long term objective of the research is to understand the role of T lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of seronegative arthritis. The hypothesis to be tested is that the inflammatory lesions found in the colon and joints of patients with seronegative arthritis contain antigen selected populations of T lymphocytes which react against components of bacteria that trigger reactive arthritis (a subset of seronegative arthritis). This will be accomplished by sampling the inflammatory lesions, expanding the T lymphocytes in vitro, testing such expanded populations for antigen reactivity, and analysing the T lymphocyte receptor gene usage within these populations.
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