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Genetic control of tolerance to type II collagen and development of arthritis in an autologous collagen-induced arthritis model

Genetic control of tolerance to type II collagen and development of arthritis in an autologous collagen-induced arthritis model

Journal of Immunology 171(7): 3493-3499

T cell recognition of the type II collagen (CII) 260-270 peptide is a bottleneck for the development of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis. We have earlier made C3H.Q mice expressing CII with glutamic acid instead of aspartic acid at position 266 (the MMC-C3H.Q mouse), similar to the rat and human CII epitope, which increases binding to MHC class II and leads to effective presentation of the peptide in vivo. These mice show T cell tolerance to CII, but also develop severe arthritis. The present investigation shows that non-MHC genes play a decisive role in determining tolerance and arthritis susceptibility. We bred MMC into B10.Q mice, which display similar susceptibility to CIA induced with rat CII as the C3H.Q mice. In contrast to MMC-C3H.Q mice, MMC-B10.Q mice were completely resistant to arthritis. Nontransgenic (B10.Q x C3H.Q)F(1) mice were more susceptible to CIA than either of the parental strains, but introduction of the MMC transgene leads to CIA resistance, showing that the protection is dominantly inherited from B10.Q. In an attempt to break the B10-mediated CIA protection in MMC-transgenic mice, we introduced a transgenic, CII-specific, TCR beta-chain specific for the CII(260-270) glycopeptide, in the highly CIA-susceptible (B10.Q x DBA/1)F(1) mice. The magnification of the autoreactive CII-specific T cell repertoire led to increased CIA susceptibility, but the disease was less severe than in mice lacking the MMC transgene. This finding is important for understanding CIA and perhaps also rheumatoid arthritis, as in both diseases MHC class II-restricted T cell recognition of the glycosylated CII peptide occurs.

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Accession: 010705305

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PMID: 14500645

DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.171.7.3493

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