Induction of arthritis in rats by soluble peptidoglycan-polysaccharide complexes produced by human intestinal flora

Arthritis Rheum. 1991 Dec;34(12):1611-6. doi: 10.1002/art.1780341222.


Peptidoglycan-polysaccharide complexes were isolated from feces of a healthy subject and from ileostomy fluid from 5 patients. Peptidoglycan-polysaccharide complexes were tested for arthritogenicity in a rat model, by subcutaneous injection in Freund's incomplete adjuvant. Complexes from the healthy subject did not induce arthritis, but those from ileostomy fluid of 1 of the patients induced severe, chronic joint inflammation. We concluded that peptidoglycan-polysaccharide complexes from intestinal flora are potentially arthritogenic in rats. This arthritogenicity may be influenced by the content of muramic acid and rhamnose in these complexes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Arthritis / chemically induced*
  • Bifidobacterium / metabolism*
  • Eubacterium / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Muramic Acids / analysis
  • Peptidoglycan / adverse effects*
  • Peptidoglycan / analysis
  • Peptidoglycan / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Rhamnose / analysis


  • Muramic Acids
  • Peptidoglycan
  • Rhamnose