- Immunization of naive mice with beta2-glycoprotein I (beta2GPI) leads to the generation of pathogenic anticardiolipin antibodies associated with clinical manifestations of the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). The aim of this study was to determine whether immunization of naive mice with human beta2GPI, which shares homology with mouse beta2GPI molecules, breaks tolerance to murine beta2GPI and leads to the generation of anti-mouse beta2GPI. Twenty-four female BALB/c mice were immunized in the footpads with 10 microg of human beta2GPI. Twelve age- and sex-matched BALB/c mice were immunized in the same manner with Freund's complete adjuvant and served as controls. The reactivity of whole sera, polyclonal IgG, and affinity-purified anti-beta2GPI IgG antibodies against human, bovine, and mouse beta2GPI was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. High titers of anti-human beta2GPI IgG antibodies were detected 1 month after immunization. Progressively increasing titers against murine and bovine beta2GPI were recorded 1-4 months after injection. Immunization of mice with human beta2GPI resulted in the generation of antibodies reacting with human, bovine, and murine beta2GPI. The loss of tolerance to mouse beta2GPI is attributable to the high interspecies homology of beta2GPI. These results may point to molecular mimicry as a possible cause of APS.