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Vol. 286 no. 5445 pp. 1732-1735
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5445.1732
  • Report

Arthritis Provoked by Linked T and B Cell Recognition of a Glycolytic Enzyme

  1. Diane Mathis*,
  1. Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (CNRS/INSERM/ULP), BP 163, 67404 Illkirch, C.U. de Strasbourg, France.
  1. To whom correspondence should be addressed.


The hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is specific destruction of the synovial joints. In a mouse line that spontaneously develops a disorder with many of the features of human RA, disease is initiated by T cell recognition of a ubiquitously expressed self-antigen; once initiated, pathology is driven almost entirely by immunoglobulins. In this study, the target of both the initiating T cells and pathogenic immunoglobulins was identified as glucose-6-phosphate isomerase, a glycolytic enzyme. Thus, some forms of RA or related arthritides may develop by a mechanism fundamentally different from the currently popular paradigm of a joint-specific T cell response.

  • * Present address: Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, One Joslin Place, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

  • Received for publication 19 July 1999.
  • Accepted for publication 19 October 1999.