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Controlled study of autoimmunization against liver in inbred rat strains
  1. B. P. Maclaurin


    By prolonged immunization of an inbred rat strain with isologous liver homogenate in Freund's complete adjuvant a low grade autoimmune `cholangitis' with periductular fibrosis has been demonstrated. The lesion could be transferred to isogeneic animals by serial spleen cell injections and was associated with mild but variable delayed skin sensitivity to a supernatant fraction of the liver homogenate. It is thought to be due to a combined cellular and antibody-mediated immune response, directed against bile duct constituents. Pulmonary (peribronchial) lesions have also been described in the same animals and are considered to be of similar origin and to represent a cross reaction with tissue of similar embryological (entodermal) origin. This appears to be the first description of periductular hepatic fibrosis clearly resulting from an autoimmune reaction and may provide a model for further study of rather similar histological reactions known to occur in man.

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    • 1 The material in this paper was presented in part at the London meeting of the British Society for Immunology (April, 1970) and at an international meeting at King's College Hospital, London, in July 1970, devoted to immunological aspects of liver diseases.

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