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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Collagen-induced arthritis in C57BL/6 mice is associated with a robust and sustained T-cell response to type II collagen

Julia J Inglis1, Gabriel Criado1, Mino Medghalchi1, Melanie Andrews1, Ann Sandison2, Marc Feldmann1 and Richard O Williams1*

Author affiliations

1 Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Imperial College London, 1 Aspenlea Road, London W6 8LH, UK

2 Department of Histopathology, Imperial College London, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8RF, UK

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Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2007, 9:R113  doi:10.1186/ar2319

Published: 29 October 2007

Abstract

Many genetically modified mouse strains are now available on a C57BL/6 (H-2b) background, a strain that is relatively resistant to collagen-induced arthritis. To facilitate the molecular understanding of autoimmune arthritis, we characterised the induction of arthritis in C57BL/6 mice and then validated the disease as a relevant pre-clinical model for rheumatoid arthritis.

C57BL/6 mice were immunised with type II collagen using different protocols, and arthritis incidence, severity, and response to commonly used anti-arthritic drugs were assessed and compared with DBA/1 mice. We confirmed that C57BL/6 mice are susceptible to arthritis induced by immunisation with chicken type II collagen and develop strong and sustained T-cell responses to type II collagen. Arthritis was milder in C57BL/6 mice than DBA/1 mice and more closely resembled rheumatoid arthritis in its response to therapeutic intervention. Our findings show that C57BL/6 mice are susceptible to collagen-induced arthritis, providing a valuable model for assessing the role of specific genes involved in the induction and/or maintenance of arthritis and for evaluating the efficacy of novel drugs, particularly those targeted at T cells.