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Eur J Immunol. 1991 May;21(5):1327-30.

Anti-T cell receptor antibody treatment of rats with established autologous collagen-induced arthritis: suppression of arthritis without reduction of anti-type II collagen autoantibody levels.

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Department of Medical and Physiological Chemistry, University of Uppsala, Sweden.


Activation of T cells is critical for the development of type II collagen (CII)-induced arthritis (CIA). However, the relative importance of T cells in their delivery of help to B cells, promoting autoantibody formation or acting as inflammatory initiating cells, is unclear. The effect of a monoclonal antibody directed to the alpha/beta T cell receptor (TcR) on the development of autologous CIA was studied. Two weeks after immunization with autologous CII the onset of severe arthritis occurred, followed by a chronic arthritis activity in the peripheral joints. Anti-TcR treatment before immunization suppressed the incidence of arthritis and the autoantibody response to CII. Treatment given immediately before the expected onset delayed the appearance of arthritis. Treatment given to already arthritic rats reduced the severity. In the latter two groups the serum levels of anti-CII autoantibodies were not affected. The duration of the ameliorating effect was limited and with the return of arthritis a concomitant antibody response towards the injected mouse anti-TcR antibody was observed. These results show that the role of T cells in both the induction and perpetuation of CIA is essential and not limited to the triggering of production of pathogenic anti-CII autoantibodies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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