Collagen-induced arthritis in C57BL/6 (H-2b) mice: new insights into an important disease model of rheumatoid arthritis

Eur J Immunol. 2000 Jun;30(6):1568-75. doi: 10.1002/1521-4141(200006)30:6<1568::AID-IMMU1568>3.0.CO;2-R.


Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) is a widely used model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and has been important for understanding autoimmunity. CIA is purportedly restricted to mice bearing the MHC class II H-2q or H-2r haplotypes. In this study, we re-examined established concepts regarding susceptibility to CIA. We found mice derived from the C57BU6 (B6) (H-2b) background can develop CIA with high incidence (60-70%), and sustained severity by using an immunization procedure modified for optimum response in DBA/1 (D1) (H-2q) mice. Clinically and histologically the B6 disease resembles that of D1 mice and is dependent on immunization with type II collagen, as well as on B and CD4+ T cells. In contrast, 129/Sv mice, which share H-2b, are resistant to CIA. We conclude that susceptibility to CIA may reflect immunization conditions and/or important contributions from non-MHC genes, revealed by different immunization protocols. A practical outcome is that CIA can be directly applied to gene knockout mice generated from B6 embryonic stem cells without need for backcross onto the D1 background. This model may lead to improved understanding of autoimmunity in CIA and RA and may provide a platform for analysis of the contribution of non-MHC genes to CIA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Collagen / administration & dosage
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • H-2 Antigens / immunology*
  • Incidence
  • Kinetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • H-2 Antigens
  • H-2Kb protein, mouse
  • Collagen