Arthritis induced by a T-lymphocyte clone that responds to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and to cartilage proteoglycans

W. van Eden, J. Holoshitz, Z. Nevo, A. Frenkel, A. Klajman, I. R. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adjuvant arthritis characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints of rats is induced by immunization to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. To learn how autoimmune arthritis may be caused by a microbial antigen, we isolated a T-lymphocyte clone specific for M. tuberculosis antigens that was strongly arthritogenic. We now report that the clone recognized, in addition to M. tuberculosis antigens, antigens present in human synovial fluid, medium of chondrocyte cultures, and proteoglycans purified from cartilage. These observations indicate that the target antigen for the arthritogenic clone resides in the proteoglycan component of cartilage. As this arthritogenic clone shows specificity for both a M. tuberculosis antigen and a cartilage constituent we conclude that disease is probably caused by antigenic cross-reactivity. Thus, an autoimmune disease may be triggered by structural mimicry between antigens in the environment and self-antigens in the individual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5117-5120
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume82
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

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