The pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis might be more easily understood and the efficacy of therapeutic measures might be more accurately assessed if a convenient animal replica of this disease were available for laboratory study. Intraperitoneal injection of homogenates of inflamed synovium taken at operation from patients with rheumatoid arthritis produces inflammatory swelling and deformity in the tail and extremities of a proportion of injected mice from a complement (C5)-deficient inbred strain. Swelling of the paws leads to limping of the affected mice. The lesions are transmissible from generation to generation. The results support the theory of a transmissible agent in the inflamed synovium of rheumatoid arthritis patients.
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