Characterization of the KRN cell transfer model of rheumatoid arthritis (KRN-CTM), a chronic yet synchronized version of the K/BxN mouse

Timothy P. LaBranche, Cynthia L. Hickman-Brecks, Debra M. Meyer, Chad E. Storer, Michael I. Jesson, Kimberly M. Shevlin, Fernando A. Happa, Ruteja A. Barve, David J. Weiss, John C. Minnerly, Jennifer L. Racz, Paul M. Allen

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22 Scopus citations


In this study, a chronic yet synchronized version of the K/BxN mouse, the KRN-cell transfer model (KRN-CTM), was developed and extensively characterized. The transfer of purified splenic KRN T cells into T cell-deficient B6.TCR.Cα-/-H-2b/g7 mice induced antiglucose 6-phosphate isomerase antibody-dependent chronic arthritis in 100% of the mice with uniform onset of disease 7 days after T cell transfer. Cellular infiltrations were assessed by whole-ankle transcript microarray, cytokine and chemokine levels, and microscopic and immunohistochemical analyses 7 through 42 days after T cell transfer. Transcripts identified an influx of monocytes/macrophages and neutrophils into the ankles and identified temporal progression of cartilage damage and bone resorption. In both serum and ankle tissue there was a significant elevation in interleukin-6, whereas macrophage inflammatory protein-1 α and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 were only elevated in tissue. Microscopic and immunohistochemical analyses revealed a time course for edema, synovial hypertrophy and hyperplasia, infiltration of F4/80-positive monocytes/macrophages and myeloperoxidase-positive neutrophils, destruction of articular cartilage, pannus invasion, bone resorption, extra-articular fibroplasia, and joint ankylosis. The KRN cell transfer model replicates many features of chronic rheumatoid arthritis in humans in a synchronized manner and lends itself to manipulation of adoptively transferred T cells and characterizing specific genes and T cell subsets responsible for rheumatoid arthritis pathogenesis and progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1388-1396
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


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