Dendritic cells (DCs) are critical for immune homeostasis. To target DCs, we generated a mouse line with Flip deficiency in cells that express cre under the CD11c promoter (CD11c-Flip-KO). CD11c-Flip-KO mice spontaneously develop erosive, inflammatory arthritis, resembling rheumatoid arthritis, which is dramatically reduced when these mice are crossed with Rag(-/-) mice. The CD8a(+) DC subset is significantly reduced, along with alterations in NK cells and macrophages. Autoreactive CD4(+) T cells and autoantibodies specific for joint tissue are present, and arthritis severity correlates with the number of autoreactive CD4(+) T cells and plasmablasts in the joint-draining lymph nodes. Reduced T regulatory cells (Tregs) inversely correlate with arthritis severity, and the transfer of Tregs ameliorates arthritis. This KO line identifies a model that will permit in depth interrogation of the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, including the role of CD8a(+) DCs and other cells of the immune system.
View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms8086
View details for PubMedID 25963626