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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Staphylococcal peptidoglycans induce arthritis

Zai-Qing Liu1*, Guo-Min Deng1, Simon Foster2 and Andrej Tarkowski1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Rheumatology, University of Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden

2 Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, UK

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Arthritis Res 2001, 3:375-380  doi:10.1186/ar330

Published: 17 September 2001


Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most important pathogens in septic arthritis. To analyse the arthritogenic properties of staphylococcal peptidoglycan (PGN), highly purified PGN from S. aureus was intra-articularly injected into murine joints. The results demonstrate that PGN will trigger arthritis in a dose-dependent manner. A single injection of this compound leads to massive infiltration of predominantly macrophages and polymorphonuclear cells with occasional signs of cartilage and/or bone destruction, lasting for at least 14 days. Further studies showed that this condition is mediated by the combined impact of acquired and innate immune systems. Our results indicate that PGN exerts a central role in joint inflammation triggered by S. aureus.

arthritis; peptidoglycan; Staphylococcus aureus