Chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) as a model for scleroderma. I. Description of model systems

Cell Immunol. 1983 Apr 1;77(1):1-12. doi: 10.1016/0008-8749(83)90001-1.


A model murine system of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was explored to determine its suitability for studying scleroderma-like syndromes. The basic protocol was to inject lymphoid cell suspensions into irradiated semiallogeneic or allogeneic recipients which had been irradiated. Serial body weights, skin biopsies, and anti-nuclear antibodies were followed. Changes seen in the skin included increased collagen deposition, a mononuclear infiltrate deep in the dermis, loss of dermal fat, and "dropout" of skin appendages such as hair follicles. Body weight loss was a sensitive index of GVHD. Anti-nuclear antibodies occurred at times, but did not correlate with the tissue changes in the skin of mice undergoing GVHD. This chronic GVHD syndrome was produced across major and minor histocompatibility barriers. The most consistent findings were seen in BALB/c recipients of B10.D2 cells. These strains are nonreactive in unprimed mixed-leukocyte cultures. This combination represents primarily a GVH reaction against minor antigens where the HVG reaction is suppressed by irradiation. Some data suggest that the cutaneous changes may be reversible with time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Body Weight
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Graft vs Host Reaction*
  • Histocompatibility Testing
  • Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / immunology*
  • Skin / pathology


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear