We made double transgenic mice bearing immunoglobulin heavy and light chain genes encoding an autoantibody against the mouse erythrocyte by the cross of C57BL/6 mice carrying the transgene for each chain of the immunoglobulin. Although no obvious disorders were found in the single-chain transgenic mice, severely anemic symptoms were found in some of the double transgenic mice, in which most B cells express, at least on their surface, the autoantibody reactive to self-antigens on the erythrocyte. Individual double-transgenic mice showed a wide variation of phenotypes between severe anemia and no symptoms. Both deletion and anergy of autoreactive B cells were seen in each individual mouse, but their relative contribution to self-tolerance was variable and not directly related to the severity of anemia or the amount of the autoantibody produced. This transgenic system provides a good autoimmune disease model for exploring its onset mechanism, and means of its treatment and prevention.

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