Abstract: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multi-organ autoimmune disease characteristized by the presence of autoantibodies against double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) in sera at high levels. Bacterial infections in SLE are associated with higher morbidity and mortality. Our goal was to observe the interaction between these 2 factors in the pathogenesis of lupus. We generated transgenic mice with monoclonal anti-dsDNA to investigate the development of lupus. By challenging the mice in vitro and in vivo with Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) ligand lipopolysaccharides (LPS), we were able to examine the role of bacterial infection in SLE. In our study, the transgenic mice with a secreted form of anti-dsDNA were found to have higher levels of anti-nuclear antibodies, anti-dsDNA, blood urea nitrogen, and proteinuria. The splenocytes of the mice stimulated with LPS secreted more anti-dsDNA, IFN-γ, and IL-10. After injecting them with LPS in vivo, we further found higher immune complex depositions and IL-10 in the kidneys of the transgenic mice. Moreover, the LPS-injected transgenic mice had higher mortality rate. This is the first transgenic model to demonstrate that only 2 risk factors, pathogenic anti-dsDNA and TLR4 activation, induce severe SLE syndromes in normal mice through the overproduction of IL-10 and IFN-γ. These findings imply that anti-dsDNA and bacterial infections have pivotal roles in the pathogenesis of SLE; the inhibition of TLR4 may be regarded as a therapeutic target.