We have studied the effect of the immunosuppressive agent cyclosporin on collagen induced arthritis in mice. Cyclosporin, when given prophylactically, was capable of suppressing the development of collagen induced arthritis and the immunological response to native type II collagen in a dose dependent manner. Furthermore, treatment with cyclosporin, started on the same day as the booster injection with type II collagen, also resulted in inhibition of development of arthritis and of immunity to collagen. These findings suggest that the time of a booster injection, three weeks after the initial immunisation, might be still within the induction phase of arthritis since reinoculation is required to produce a high incidence of arthritis in mice. In addition, therapeutic treatment with cyclosporin did not affect the clinical course of the disease or the immune response to collagen.
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