Characterization of psoriasiform and alopecic skin lesions in HLA-B27 transgenic rats

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We have previously reported a multisystem inflammatory, disease in transgenic rat lines with high expression of HLA-B*2705 and human β2 microglobulin. Skin disease in these rats includes two predominant lesions: 1) marked psoriasiform dermatitis of the tail and digits; and 2) progressive alopecia of face, neck, trunk, and extremities. Here we present the results of a systematic survey of these lesions. Tall and digit skin showed psoriasiform hyperplasia of the epidermis associated with parakeratosis, with marked dermal and epidermal inflammation. The alopecic skin showed perifollicular and follicular mononuclear infiltration and increased numbers of atrophic follicles. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that B27 expression was prominent on keratinocytes in hyperplastic epidermis where lymphocytic infiltrates were prominent, but was absent in the absence of inflammation. In alopecic lesions, B27 was strongly expressed on follicular epithelium and dermal hair papillae associated with mononuclear infiltrates. T cells, both CD8 and CD4, were most prominent in inflammatory lesions and rat MHC-II expression on keratinocytes, and follicular epithelium was dramatically increased. This study suggests that T cell-mediated immune mechanisms participate in development of cutaneous lesions in HLA-B27 transgenic rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-964
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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