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J Immunol. 2004 Apr 1;172(7):4503-9.

Immunization with glucose-6-phosphate isomerase induces T cell-dependent peripheral polyarthritis in genetically unaltered mice.

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Deutsches Rheumaforschungszentrum Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease primarily affecting the joints. The search for arthritogenic autoantigens that trigger autoimmune responses in rheumatoid arthritis has largely focused on cartilage- or joint-specific Ags. In this study, we show that immunization with the ubiquitously expressed glycolytic enzyme glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (G6PI) induces severe peripheral symmetric polyarthritis in normal mice. In genetically unaltered mice, T cells are indispensable for both the induction and the effector phase of G6PI-induced arthritis. Arthritis is cured by depletion of CD4(+) cells. In contrast, Abs and FcgammaR(+) effector cells are necessary but not sufficient for G6PI-induced arthritis in genetically unaltered mice. Thus, the complex pathogenesis of G6PI-induced arthritis in normal mice differs strongly from the spontaneously occurring arthritis in the transgenic K/B x N model where Abs against G6PI alone suffice to induce the disease. G6PI-induced arthritis demonstrates for the first time the induction of organ-specific disease by systemic autoimmunity in genetically unaltered mice. Both the induction and effector phase of arthritis induced by a systemic autoimmune response can be dissected and preventive and therapeutic strategies evaluated in this model.

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