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Am J Pathol. 1991 Sep;139(3):511-21.

Pathogenic significance of serum components in the development of autoimmune polyarthritis in MRL/Mp mice bearing the lymphoproliferation gene.

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Department of Pathology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.


MRL/Mp mice bearing the lymphoproliferation gene (lpr) (MRL/Mp-lpr/lpr) spontaneously develop polyarthritis, associated with autoimmune traits, including rheumatoid factor production, which resembles rheumatoid arthritis. To investigate possible arthritogenic activity of serum of these mice, intraarticular injections of the serum components to knee joints of nonarthritic MRL/Mp mice not bearing the lpr gene (MRL/Mp(-)+/+) were performed. Two fractions from the serum were obtained by a gel chromatography. The void fraction (VF), but not the nonvoid fraction (NVF), induced acute inflammatory lesions in the joints by single injection, and destructive arthritis by repeated injections. VF had immune complex activity, and contained a large amount of cryoglobulin, which in itself was found arthritogenic. These findings indicate that the serum components of MRL/Mp-lpr/lpr mice have a potency to cause destructive arthritis. These results are direct evidence in a syngeneic animal model system, which suggests the pathogenic significance of serum components in rheumatoid arthritis.

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