Autoimmune diseases show complex pathological manifestations, which frequently involve systemic vasculitis. This complication is understood to be a manifestation of advanced disease, or to represent distinct entities, restricted by genetic and/or environmental factors. An MRL/Mp strain of mice beating the Fas deletion mutant gene, lpr (MRL/lpr), spontaneously develop systemic vasculitis coincidentally with glomerulonephritis, arthritis and sialoadenitis, but a C3H/HeJ-lpr/lpr (C3H/lpr) strain does not. Thus, this is a suitable model for analyzing the genetic basis of vasculitis in autoimmune diseases. To genetically dissect these complex pathological manifestations, a linkage analysis of each lesion with polymorphic microsatellite markers was performed by using MRL/lprX(MRL/lprX C3H/lpr)F1 backcross mice. Vasculitis- susceptible gene loci were mapped on chromosomes 3 and 4, which were not associated with glomerulonephritis, arthritis and sialoadenitis. These results indicate that systemic vasculitis in MRL/lpr mice may be under the control of host genes which are different from those for other autoimmune diseases.
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