Our laboratory is involved in investigating the role of T-cell receptor (Tcr) in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). During these studies we found AU/ssJ (H-2q) mice to be resistant to CIA like SWR (H-2q), as compared with other H-2q strains with wild-type Tcr like DBA/1 and B 10. Q. Upon screening with monoclonal antibodies F23.1 and KJ23a, AU/ssJ was found to be F23.1 negative (Vβ8 Tcr negative) and KJ23a positive (Vβ17a Tcr positive). Southern blot analysis on liver DNA using specific Tcr-Vβ probes confirmed the deletion of Vβ8 gene family and also showed that AU/ssJ mice have deletions of Vβ9, Vβ13, Vβ12, and Vβ11 genes of Tcr. Further, these mice show a restriction fragment length polymorphism pattern with Vβ10, Vβ6, and Vβ17 probes similar to SWR mice as compared with 1310 mice. Since SWR and AU/ssJ are from different backgrounds, these studies indicate that specific variable region β chain genes of Tcr are crucial for susceptibility to CIA in mice. Furthermore, these studies identify an additional inbred strain which has also deleted 50% of its Tcr-Vβ genes.
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