Use of genetic knockouts to modulate disease expression in a murine model of lupus, MRL/lpr mice

Immunol Res. 2002;25(2):143-53. doi: 10.1385/ir:25:2:143.


MRL-MPJ Fas(lpr) (MRL/lpr) mice are a prototypic murine model for lupus characterized by an accelerated autoimmune syndrome. Disease begins as early as 8-wk-of-age in these animals with polyclonal B cell activation and elevated levels of serum IgM. By 12 to 16-wk-of-age MRL/lpr mice begin to produce a variety of autoantibodies including anti-dsDNA and anti-ss-DNA antibodies. From 16 to 24 wk, MRL/lpr mice develop proliferative immune complex mediated glomerulonephritis, vasculitis, arthritis, and massive lymphadenopathy that results in renal failure and death in 50% of the mice by 24-wk-of-age. This review will discuss several different genetic knockout experimental approaches used to study disease expression in MRL/lpr mice including various approaches in our laboratory aimed at autoantibody (Ab) production and inflammatory mediators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Targeting
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / genetics
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred MRL lpr*
  • Mice, Knockout