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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disorder that affects approximately 1% of the adult population worldwide. It is characterized by systemic and local inflammation that leads to cartilage and bone destruction. Rodent models of arthritis are extensively used to study disease pathogenesis and to evaluate potential anti-arthritic agents for clinical use. 


The two of the most widely used RA models for efficacy studies are the Collagen-Induced Arthritis (CIA) and Adjuvant Induced Arthritis (AIA).  Readout parameters are body weight, clinical signs and arthritis score. Additionally, samples can be isolated for further analyses including histology, serum and tissue biomarker analyses, gene expression and more. Please refer to our in-vitro services section for more information on ex-vivo studies offered by SIA.

Collagen-Induced Arthritis (CIA)

Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis (AIA)



Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) is an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that is widely used to address questions of disease pathogenesis and to validate therapeutic targets. Arthritis is induced in mice or rats by immunization with heterologous type II collagen in adjuvant. Susceptibility to collagen-induced arthritis is strongly associated with major histocompatibility complex class II genes, and the development of arthritis is accompanied by a robust T- and B-cell response to type II collagen. 


The chief pathological features of CIA include a proliferative synovitis with infiltration of polymorphonuclear and mononuclear cells, pannus formation, cartilage degradation, erosion of bone, and fibrosis. As in RA, pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) and interleukin (IL)-1beta, are abundantly expressed in the arthritic joints of mice with CIA, and blockade of these molecules by biological agents results in a reduction of disease severity. Study duration of approximately 45 days is typical to Collagen-Induced Arthritis.


AIA is one of the widely used animal models used to recapitulate human RA. It has been used for preclinical testing of many anti-arthritic agents and successfully predicted activity and efficacy of new therapeutics. Complete Freund’s adjuvant is used to initiate a profound systemic inflammation resulting in severe joint swelling and remodeling. The joint pathology seen in AIA shares the cartilage degradation, bone resorption and cellular influx seen in human RA.  Study duration of Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis is 30 days.

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