Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are several spontaneous and induced animal models of arthritis available. In MRL/lpr mice that have a defective Fas gene, arthritis develops spontaneously, but the immune mechanisms underlying joint disease in these mice are not known [135]. T cell-mediated arthritis can be induced in susceptible strains of mice and rats by immunization with type II collagen, the collagen type found in cartilage. This model has long been used to study mechanisms and effects of anti-arthritic drugs, for instance liposome-encapsulated drugs [136]. However, in the human situation there is no evidence for collagen-specific immunity. Arthritis can also be induced using various bacterial antigens. However, in these models the resemblance to human disease is, at best, questionable [137].

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