UNIT 15.15 Mercuric Chloride–Induced Autoimmunity

  1. A. Badou,
  2. A. Saoudi,
  3. G. Dietrich,
  4. E. Druet,
  5. P. Druet,
  6. L. Pelletier

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im1515s32

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Badou, A., Saoudi, A., Dietrich, G., Druet, E., Druet, P. and Pelletier, L. 2001. Mercuric Chloride–Induced Autoimmunity. Current Protocols in Immunology. 32:15.15:15.15.1–15.15.18.

Author Information

  1. Institut Fédératif de Recherche, Toulouse, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: AUG 1999


This unit describes methods for inducing autoimmune disease in Brown Norway rats through HgCl2 injections as well for assessing parameters that characterize the disease by serum IgE concentration assays, anti-laminin antibody measurement, and renal immunofluorescence studies to detect autoantibodies. Also covered are disease induction using autoreactive CD4+ TH2 anti-self MHC class II molecules and preparation of T cell lines. IL-4 is produced very early after the first HgCl2 injection (beginning at day 3, peaking at day 14, and continuing up to day 30). Thus, IL-4 mRNA expression may be detected in spleen and lymph nodes from HgCl2-injected BN rats. The fact that HgCl2 induces in vitro mRNA IL-4 gene expression in normal BN T cells but not in LEW T cells is probably crucial to susceptibility to the development of autoimmunity in the sense that it may condition the development of autoreactive T cells into pathogenic TH2 cells; a test for this condition is therefore also included.