Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Autoimmunity is the result of an abnormal immune response against constituents of body tissues. For many years, the study of animal models of human diseases was aimed at defining the factors participating in the autoimmune process. During the past two decades, much of the attention was diverted to another intriguing aspect of animal models: the mechanisms rendering some animal strains autoimmune-susceptible and others resistant. In this report, we focus on one experimental model, adjuvant arthritis (AA) which is inducible in the Lewis rat following stimulation of the immune system by heat-killed mycobacterium and its 65kDa heat shock protein. We describe genetic loci regulating the severity of this disease as well as the contribution of microbial flora and endocrine activity to susceptibility and resistance. In our opinion, a better understanding of the processes underlying susceptibility and resistance to AA is an important step towards the development of new therapeutic approaches to autoimmunity.