Inflammation & Autoimmune Diseases

Models of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect the lining of joints, causing a painful swelling and eventually leading to bone erosion and joint destruction. Greentech Bioscience is committed to offering preclinical pharmacological studies in compliance with GLP requirements.

Animal Models of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Greentech provides drug efficacy testing based on validated animal models of rheumatoid arthritis that best conform to your study aim.

1. Collagen-Induced Arthritis (CIA) Model

Collagen can induce arthritis in rodents by immunization with an emulsion of type 2 collagen (CII) in incomplete Freund adjuvant, resulting in pronounced synovitis with accompanying cartilage degradation and bone erosions. The CIA model exhibits many similarities with human RA, including immunological characteristics and histopathology, which is suitable for the study of human RA, especially in the study of therapeutic mechanisms and immunity. The CIA mouse model is the most commonly used mode of rheumatoid arthritis.

Animal Species: mice, rats

2. Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis Model

The adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) model is established after a single subcutaneous injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA, containing heat killed dried Mycobacterium tuberculosis) into the root part of the tail. A protein molecule of M. tuberculosis is structurally similar to a glycoprotein molecule in the synovial membrane of the joint, and can be recognized by the same T cell clone to induce an immune response.

The AIA model is a typical inflammatory model with obvious cellular immunity abnormalities. The primary lesions of AIA mainly manifests as local inflammatory changes, and secondary lesions generally appear around 10-20 days after immunization and reach a peak around 20d. The AIA model is simple and easy to operate, and has been widely used in preclinical anti-RA drug efficacy research, especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Animal Species: rats

Clinical Assessment

(1) Rheumatoid arthritis score

(2) Paw volume, ankle diameter

(3) ELISA: plasma IL-6, IL-17, TNF-alpha, etc.

(4) Joint histopathology: H&E staining

Case Study

CIA model

RA scores and paw volume in CIA model.png

Figure 1. Continuous injections of prednisone acetate can significantly decrease RA scores and paw volume in CIA model.

X-ray and lesion scores in CIA model.png

Figure 2. X-ray and lesion scores based on X-ray.


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1. George K., et al. Animal models for arthritis: innovative tools for prevention and treatment. Ann Rheum Dis. 2011 Aug;70(8):1357-62.

2. Julia J.I., et al. Protocol for the induction of arthritis in C57BL/6 mice. Nat Protoc. 2008;3(4):612-8.