Examination of the mononuclear phagocyte system in lupus-prone male BXSB mice
During the course of lupus-like autoimmune disease male BXSB mice develop an increasing monocytosis in the periperal blood. As we demonstrated previously, this monocytosis is paralleled by an expansion of a strain-specific high number of macrophage precursor cells (CFU-M) in the bone marrow of male mice. To test the hypothesis that the expanded mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS) may promote autoimmune disease in these mice the organ-associated macrophage system was examined. Our latest data show that an unusual expansion of CFU-M also appears in spleen and liver of male mice 2 weeks after birth. In addition to a morphological alteration of the organs during the course of the disease there is a change in number and distribution of organ-resident macrophages. Considering these results the possible contribution of the expanded MPS in promoting autoimmune disease is discussed.