MRL- lpr lpr mice develop an inflammatory arthritis in association with other manifestations of autoimmunity. Although a variety of immune cell disturbances have been described in these mice, the relationship of these abnormalities to the pathogenesis of arthritis has not yet been determined; the role of T cells is especially unclear since synovial hypertrophy and joint erosions have been noted in some studies in the absence of a significant T cell infiltrate. Therefore, to determine if T cells are required for arthritis in MRL- lpr lpr mice, we evaluated the effects of prolonged treatment with a monoclonal anti-CD4 antibody. Knee joints from treated mice had markedly reduced arthritis compared to saline-treated control animals as measured by the degree of synovial hypertrophy and inflammation. Nephritis in these mice was concomitantly reduced. In contrast, rheumatoid factor levels were not affected by CD4+ cell depletion, despite significant effects on anti-DNA. These results indicate that in MRL- lpr lpr mice anti-CD4 therapy can inhibit arthritis, suggesting an important role of T cells in the pathogenesis of this lesion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine