Dermatopathological studies on skin lesions of MRL mice

Arch Dermatol Res. 1984;276(3):186-94. doi: 10.1007/BF00414018.


The MRL-lpr/lpr(MRL/l) mouse is a new animal model for human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and skin lesions with hair loss and scab formation are one of the characteristic manifestations in this mouse. We investigated the histopathology of the skin lesions in MRL/l mice and studied the related autoimmune phenomenon. Light microscopical observations revealed hyperkeratosis, acanthosis, hypergranulosis, liquefaction, vasodilation in the dermis and T-cell infiltration into the dermis at the age of 5 months (mo). Immunohistological studies showed the presence of immunoglobulins and/or complement depositions at the dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ). In some mice there was deposition of immunoglobulin at the DEJ at 2 mo and in 90%-100% of MRL/l mice at over 5 mo. Temporal relationship was present among cutaneous immunoglobulin depositions, the occurrence of anti-DNA antibodies and proteinuria. These findings suggest that MRL/l mice might provide a new aid for studying the biological mechanisms of the development of skin lesions in human SLE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis
  • DNA / immunology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Immunoglobulins / analysis
  • Kidney Diseases / immunology
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Diseases / immunology
  • Skin Diseases / pathology*
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Immunoglobulins
  • DNA