A chronic model of arthritis supported by a strain-specific periarticular lymph node in BALB/c mice


  • U. Baddack
  • S. Hartmann
  • H. Bang
  • J. Grobe
  • C. Loddenkemper
  • M. Lipp
  • G. Mueller


  • Nature Communications


  • Nat Commun 4: 1644


  • Current animal models of arthritis only partially reflect the complexity of rheumatoid arthritis and typically lack either chronicity or autoantibody formation. Here we describe a model that combines features of antigen-induced arthritis and collagen-induced arthritis, which can be efficiently induced in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. However, BALB/c mice generate significantly higher titres of anticollagen and anticitrullinated peptide antibodies, show a stronger progressive joint destruction, and in the chronic phase the disease spreads between joints. Concomitant to the observation of a more severe pathology, we discovered a previously undescribed small periarticular lymph node in close proximity to the knee joint of BALB/c mice, which acts as the primary draining lymph node for the synovial cavity. Our model more closely reflects the pathology of rheumatoid arthritis than classical models of arthritis and is hence particularly suitable for further studies of disease pathogenesis.