The MRL Model: A Valuable Tool in Studies of Autoimmunity-Brain Interactions

  • Boris Šakić
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1781)


The link between systemic autoimmunity, brain pathology, and aberrant behavior is still a largely unexplored field of biomedical science. Accumulating evidence points to causal relationships between immune factors, neurodegeneration, and neuropsychiatric manifestations. By documenting autoimmunity-associated neuronal degeneration and cytotoxicity of the cerebrospinal fluid from disease-affected subjects, the murine MRL model had shown high validity in revealing principal pathogenic circuits. In addition, unlike any other autoimmune strain, MRL mice produce antibodies commonly found in patients suffering from lupus and other autoimmune disorders. This review highlights importance of the MRL model as a useful preparation in understanding the links between immune system and brain function.

Key words

Autoimmunity Lupus Behavioral dysfunction Neurodegeneration Immunopsychiatry Animal model 



This work was supported by the grants from the Ontario Mental Health Foundation and Canadian Institutes of Heath Research.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral NeurosciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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