Rat polyarthritis: induction with adjuvants constituted with mycobacteria (and oils) from the environment

J Rheumatol. 1982 Jul-Aug;9(4):494-501.


Mycobacteria inhabiting plants, soils and water can cause arthritis in rats. The list of arthritogenic mycobacteria from animal sources must also be extended. The arthritogenic activity is present in dead bacteria and resists extraction into ethanol-ether (1:1 v/v). Polyarthritis is only induced in conjunction with certain (oily) lipids = coarthritogens: some of these lipids are present in/on skin, intestines, etc. Isostearic acid is also a coarthritogen. Preliminary observations suggest the leprosy bacillus (M. leprae) is not arthritogenic but may confer immunity to the M. tuberculosis arthritogen. Some adjuvant-active corynebacteria/propionibacteria did not cause polyarthritis in 2 rat strains (DA, PVG) responding vigorously to mycobacterial arthritogens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis / microbiology*
  • Arthritis, Experimental / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium / pathogenicity
  • Mycobacterium Infections / microbiology*
  • Nocardia / pathogenicity
  • Nocardia Infections / microbiology
  • Oils / administration & dosage
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Virulence


  • Oils