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EMBO J. 1991 Dec;10(13):4025-31.

Transgenic mice expressing human tumour necrosis factor: a predictive genetic model of arthritis.

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Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Hellenic Pasteur Institute, Athens, Greece.


We have generated transgenic mouse lines carrying and expressing wild-type and 3'-modified human tumour necrosis factor (hTNF-alpha, cachectin) transgenes. We show that correct, endotoxin-responsive and macrophage-specific hTNF gene expression can be established in transgenic mice and we present evidence that the 3'-region of the hTNF gene may be involved in macrophage-specific transcription. Transgenic mice carrying 3'-modified hTNF transgenes shows deregulated patterns of expression and interestingly develop chronic inflammatory polyarthritis. Treatment of these arthritic mice with a monoclonal antibody against human TNF completely prevents development of this disease. Our results indicate a direct involvement of TNF in the pathogenesis of arthritis. Transgenic mice which predictably develop arthritis represent a novel genetic model by which the pathogenesis and treatment of this disease in humans may be further investigated.

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