Male (NZW x BXSB) F1 (W/B F1) mice, which develop lupus nephritis, myocardial infarction, and thrombocytopenia, showed reduced platelet lifespan (PLS) and increased platelet-associated antibody (PAA) values. There were statistically significant correlations between the increase in PAA values and either the reduction in PLS or the decrease in platelet counts. This and the results of platelet transfer experiments between old male W/B F1 mice and either female W/B F1 or normal BALB/c mice indicate that PAAs on the platelet surface play a crucial role in the destruction of platelets in W/B F1 mice. The mechanism of thrombocytopenia observed here appears similar to that of human idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Therefore, we think that W/B F1 mice are a potentially useful animal model for investigating the effectiveness and mode of action of therapeutic agents in human ITP, and that they may provide additional information on the basic mechanisms of this autoimmune phenomenon.

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