Both common and unique susceptibility genes in different rat strains with pristane-induced arthritis

Eur J Hum Genet. 2002 Aug;10(8):475-83. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejhg.5200832.


Pristane-induced arthritis (PIA) in rats is an animal model for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We have previously identified seven quantitative trait loci (QTLs), which regulate arthritis development using a cross between the susceptible DA strain and the resistant E3 strain of rats (Pia2-8). In the present study the inbred rat strain LEW.1F was used as the susceptible strain in a cross with the E3 strain. The results confirmed the locus Pia4 on chromosome 12, which previously was shown to be associated with PIA, and also with experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, in crosses between the rat strains E3 and DA. On chromosome 1, linked to the albino locus, we identified a novel QTL, Pia9 in the LEW.F1 cross. This locus was associated with arthritis severity in the early phase of disease. A locus on chromosome 16, denoted Pia11, was also associated with arthritis severity in the early phase of the disease. A suggestive locus was detected on chromosome 14, which was associated with arthritis severity at the time when PIA progresses into a chronic phase. Using a congenic LEW.1F strain, which carries E3 alleles at the Pia9 locus, we confirmed that the E3 allele significantly suppresses arthritis severity during the early phase of the disease. The results revealed synergistic effects between different susceptibility loci using ANOVA analysis. These interactions were influenced by gender. Rats with Pia9 alleles from LEW.1F and Pia11 alleles from E3, were shown to suffer from much more severe arthritis in the early stage of the disease. On the other hand, the Pia9 and the suggestive locus on chromosome 14 affected only males during the chronic phase of the disease. These findings provide clues to how genetic factors by themselves, and in interaction with each other, regulate the development of a disease, which displays many similarities to RA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Arthritis, Experimental / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, Recessive
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Genotype
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Lod Score
  • Male
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew / genetics*
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Species Specificity
  • Terpenes*


  • Terpenes
  • pristane