SWR/J transgenic (tg) mice were generated expressing the TCR beta chain derived from an anticollagen type II (CII) arthritogenic T cell clone. The SWR/J strain was selected because it is resistant to collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) and lacks the V beta gene segment used by the T cell clone. Expression of the tg beta chain on all thymocytes and peripheral lymph node T cells led to a more efficient anti-CII immune response, but did not confer CIA susceptibility to SWR/J mice. Nevertheless, this tg beta chain enhanced predisposition to CIA as (DBA/1 x SWR) F1 beta tg mice were more susceptible than normal F1 littermates. Our results demonstrate that the expression of the tg beta chain contributes to CIA susceptibility, but by itself it is not sufficient to overcome CIA resistance in the SWR/J strain.

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