Polyarthritis in rats following the systemic injection of Lactobacillus casei cell walls in aqueous suspension

Arthritis Rheum. 1983 Oct;26(10):1259-65. doi: 10.1002/art.1780261013.


Postdysenteric Reiter's syndrome and the arthritis associated with jejunal bypass surgery for obesity suggest that the gastrointestinal tract is a possible source of bacterial products capable of initiating chronic inflammatory arthritis. Lactobacillus casei, a common component of the enteric flora, has a cell wall structure similar to that of arthritogenic streptococci. In this study we have demonstrated that a single intraperitoneal injection of an aqueous suspension of the cell walls of Lactobacillus casei induces a dose-dependent, chronic, symmetric, erosive, peripheral polyarthritis in inbred LEW/N female rats. This model suggests that bacteria in the "normal enteric flora" may be a source of inflammatory products capable of inducing chronic erosive polyarthritis.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / administration & dosage*
  • Arthritis / etiology*
  • Arthritis, Experimental / diagnostic imaging
  • Arthritis, Experimental / etiology*
  • Arthritis, Experimental / pathology
  • Cell Wall / analysis
  • Cell Wall / immunology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Lactobacillus casei / immunology
  • Monosaccharides / analysis
  • Radiography
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology
  • Tarsal Joints / diagnostic imaging
  • Tarsal Joints / pathology


  • Amino Acids
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Monosaccharides