Sjögren's syndrome (SjS) is a systemic autoimmune disease in which an immunological attack primarily against the salivary and lacrimal glands results in loss of acinar cell tissue and function leading to stomatitis sicca and keratoconjunctivitis sicca. In recent years, the NOD mouse has become an accepted model of SjS, exhibiting a spontaneously developing disease that strongly mimics the human condition. Two genetic regions, one on chromosome 1 (designated Aec2) and the second on chromosome 3 (designated Aec1) of NOD mice, have been shown to be necessary and sufficient to recapitulate SjS-like disease in non-susceptible C57BL/6 mice. Here we describe a newly derived strain, C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1R1Aec2, in which a recombination in Aec1 has resulted in reducing this genetic region to less than 20 cM from 48.5 cM. Profiling of this recombinant inbred strain has revealed that male mice maintain a full SjS-like disease, whereas female mice exhibit stomatitis sicca in the absence of detectable keratoconjunctivitis sicca. These data suggest SjS-like disease in the NOD mouse shows gender-specific regulation determined by autosomal genes.
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