[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Linkage studies indicate close associations of certain HLA alleles with autoimmune diseases. To better understand how specific HLA alleles are related to disease pathogenesis, we have generated an HLA DR3/DQ2 transgenic mouse utilizing a 550-kb yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) construct containing the complete DRalpha, DRbeta1, DRbeta3, DQalpha, and DQbeta regions. The transgenic mouse (4D1/C2D) in an I-Abeta(o) background appears healthy with no signs of autoimmune diseases. Lymphoid tissues as well as CD4(+) T cells develop normally. Characterization of the transgene expression demonstrates that approximately 90% of B cells express high levels of DR3 and 50-70% of B cells express DQ2. CD11c(+) dendritic cells express high levels of DR and DQ. Approximately 12-18% of resting T cells are positive for DR expression, and further up-regulation to 40-50% expression is seen upon activation with anti-CD3/anti-CD28 mAb. These results suggest that the transgenic construct confers a high fidelity to the normal human temporal and spatial expression profile. Analysis of T cell receptor repertoire in transgenic mice confirms that DR3/DQ2 are able to mediate thymic selection. Furthermore, transgenic mice respond to a DR3-restricted antigen, demonstrating antigen processing and presentation by antigen-presenting cells (APC). Purified T cells from ovalbumin (OVA)-immunized 4D1 mice respond to human APC co-cultured with OVA, suggesting appropriate antigen/DR3 or DQ2 recognition by murine T cells. Immunoglobulin isotype switching is also observed, indicating functional T-B cognate interactions. Thus, the DR3/DQ2 transgenic mouse has normal lymphoid development and functionality that are mediated by HLA transgenes and can be used to investigate HLA-associated immunological questions.
European Journal of Immunology 02/2003; 33(1):172-82. · 4.52 Impact Factor