A novel humanized model of rheumatoid arthritis associated lung disease

Li Lin, Weixia Xuan, David Luckey, Shaohua Wang, Fa Ping Wang, Jessica Lau, Kenneth J. Warrington, Eric L. Matteson, Robert Vassallo, Veena Taneja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cigarette smoking has been implicated in the pathogenesis of seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as well as RA-associated lung disease. Fibrotic interstitial lung disease as well as emphysema occur in RA and cause substantial morbidity. We used arthritis-susceptible HLA-DQ8 transgenic mice to generate RA-associated lung disease. Mice were exposed to cigarette smoke (CS) prior to induction of arthritis, and subsequently injected with a low dose of bleomycin intra-tracheally to induce lung injury. Exposure of arthritic mice to both CS and bleomycin led to a significant reduction in lung compliance consistent with development of diffuse lung disease. Morphologic evaluation of the lung demonstrated areas of emphysematous change and co-existent fibrosis, consistent with a combined pattern of fibrosis and emphysema. These changes were accompanied by inflammatory cell infiltration and upregulation of fibrosis-associated genes. This humanized mouse model can serve as a valuable research tool to understand the pathogenesis of RA associated lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108813
JournalClinical Immunology
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Emphysema
  • HLA transgenic mice
  • Lung fibrosis, Smoking
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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