Protocol for the induction of arthritis in C57BL/6 mice

Nat Protoc. 2008;3(4):612-8. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2008.19.


Collagen-induced arthritis is a well-validated, but strain-dependent mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis, with H-2(q) and H-2(r) strains showing the greatest degree of susceptibility. This protocol describes the induction of arthritis in the C57BL/6 strain (H-2(b)), which forms the genetic background of the majority of genetically modified strains. This protocol involves purification of type II collagen from chicken sternums, immunization of mice, clinical assessment of arthritis and analysis of T- and B-cell responses to type II collagen. Key aspects of the protocol are the need to use chicken collagen for immunization and the importance of avoiding aggressive behavior in males. The incidence of arthritis varies from 50 to 80% and is milder than the classical collagen-induced arthritis model. This procedure takes approximately 3 months to complete.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis / chemically induced*
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Collagen Type II / toxicity*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Collagen Type II