MRL/l mice spontaneously develop an arthritis very similar in many respects to human rheumatoid arthritis. A detailed morphologic and serologic analysis of this disease revealed the following: (a) a 75% incidence of synovial and periarticular inflammation, very similar to human rheumatoid arthritis, in 5-6 mo-old females, (b) close associations between presence of joint inflammation and subsynovial and/or periarticular vasculitis, and (c) a close correlation between presence of circulating IgM rheumatoid factor (RF) and demonstrable synovial and/or joint pathology, i.e., 95% of mice with significant levels of IgMRF had synovitis and/or arthritis.

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