Induction of autoimmunity by pristane and other naturally occurring hydrocarbons

Trends Immunol. 2009 Sep;30(9):455-64. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Aug 19.


Tetramethylpentadecane (TMPD, or commonly known as pristane)-induced lupus is a murine model of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Renal disease and autoantibody production strictly depend on signaling through the interferon (IFN)-I receptor. The major source of IFN-I is immature monocytes bearing high levels of the surface marker Ly6C. Interferon production is mediated exclusively by signaling through TLR7 and the adapter protein MyD88. It is likely that endogenous TLR7 ligands such as components of small nuclear ribonucleoprotein complexes are involved in triggering disease. Lupus autoantibodies are produced in ectopic lymphoid tissue developing in response to TMPD. This model is well suited for examining links between dysregulated IFN-I production and the pathogenesis of human SLE, which like TMPD-lupus, is associated with high levels of IFN-I.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Interferon Type I / immunology*
  • Interferon Type I / metabolism
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / chemically induced
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Terpenes / immunology*
  • snRNP Core Proteins / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Interferon Type I
  • Terpenes
  • snRNP Core Proteins
  • pristane