Association of MHC and rheumatoid arthritis: Regulatory role of HLA class II molecules in animal models of RA - studies on transgenic/knockout mice
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
Arthritis Res 2000, 2:205-207 doi:10.1186/ar88Published: 12 April 2000
Human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class II molecules have been shown to be associated with predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We generated HLA-DR and DQ transgenic mice that lacked endogenous class II molecules to study the interaction between the DR and DQ molecules and define the immunologic mechanisms in rheumatoid arthritis. Using collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) as an experimental model for inflammatory polyarthritis, we show that both DQ and DR are involved in predisposition or resistance to arthritis. Our studies suggest that polymorphism in DQB1 genes may determine predisposition to RA while the DRB1 polymorphism may dictate severity/protection of the disease. These mice provide powerful tools to develop immunotherapeutic protocols.