Induction of inflammatory arthropathy resembling rheumatoid arthritis in mice transgenic for HTLV-I

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Science  30 Aug 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5023, pp. 1026-1028
DOI: 10.1126/science.1887217


Human T cell leukemia virus type-I (HTLV-I) is the etiologic agent of adult T cell leukemia and has also been suggested to be involved in other diseases such as chronic arthritis or myelopathy. To elucidate pathological roles of the virus in disease, transgenic mice were produced that carry the HTLV-I genome. At 2 to 3 months of age, many of the mice developed chronic arthritis resembling rheumatoid arthritis. Synovial and periarticular inflammation with articular erosion caused by invasion of granulation tissues were marked. These observations suggest a possibility that HTLV-I is one of the etiologic agents of chronic arthritis in humans.