Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease in which complex interactions between genes and environmental factors determine the disease phenotype. We have shown that genes from the non-autoimmune strains 129 and C57BL/6 (B6), commonly used for generating gene-targeted animals, can induce a lupus-like disease. Here, we conducted a genome-wide scan analysis of a cohort of (129 x B6)F2 C1q-deficient mice to identify loci outside the C1qa locus contributing to the autoimmune phenotype described in these mice. The results were then confirmed in a larger dataset obtained by combining the data from the C1q-deficient mice with data from previously reported wild-type mice. Both analyses showed that a 129-derived interval on distal chromosome 1 is strongly linked to autoantibody production. The B6 genome contributed to anti-nuclear autoantibody production with an interval on chromosome 3. Two regions were linked to glomerulonephritis: a 129 interval on proximal chromosome 7 and a B6 interval on chromosome 13. These findings demonstrate that interacting loci between 129 and B6 mice can cause the expression of an autoimmune phenotype in gene-targeted animals in the absence of any disrupted gene. They also indicate that some susceptibility genes can be inherited from the genome of non-autoimmune parental strains.