The comparative study of Sprague-Dawley and Lewis rats in adjuvant-induced arthritis

X. Cai, Y. F. Wong, H. Zhou, Y. Xie, Z. Q. Liu, Zhi Hong JIANG, Zhaoxiang BIAN, H. X. Xu, L. Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The outbred Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats, similar to the inbred Lewis (LEW) rats, have been recently demonstrated to be highly susceptible to adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA). We herein compared AIA in SD and LEW rats in terms of clinical, histological, radiological, and immuno-inflammatory features. The results showed that, following inoculation with a ground Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MT) suspension, SD and LEW rats manifested closely similar disease progression, with 100% incidence and similar severity. The development of arthritis was accompanied by significantly higher erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels than in control rats. Radiographic examination of the hind paws showed that both SD and LEW AIA rats manifested conspicuous soft tissue swelling, bone matrix resorption, periosteal new bone formation and bone erosion, while histopathological analysis of the synovial joints revealed marked cellular infiltration, angiogenesis, synovial hyperplasia, pannus formation, narrowing of joint space, and cartilage and bone destruction. Moreover, in relation to disease progression, serum tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and IL-6 levels were markedly overexpressed in both SD and LEW AIA versus control rats, and SD and LEW AIA rats exhibited divergent profiles for the expression of TNF-α and IL-1β. Taken together, these results demonstrated that the SD rat AIA model shares several arthritic features with the comparable model in LEW rats. Hence, given the more favorable characteristics of SD rats than LEW rats (i.e., lower cost, wider availability, and heterogenic background), this SD rat AIA model is more cost effective and advantageous for screening and testing novel anti-arthritic agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-147
Number of pages8
JournalNaunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2006

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Adjuvant-induced arthritis
  • Lewis rats
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Pro-inflammatory cytokines
  • Sprague-Dawley rats


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