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Novel DNA vaccine leads to kidney damage prevention in systemic lupus erythematosus models
Date:6/11/2009

Copenhagen, Denmark, Thursday 11 June 2009: DNA vaccination using lupus autoantigens and interleukin-10 (IL-10, a cytokine that plays an important role in regulating the immune system) has potential as a novel therapy to induce antigen specific tolerance and may help to prevent kidney damage in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), according to a new study presented today at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark.

SLE is a complex, chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and damage to body tissues. Inflammation of the kidney can cause kidney failure, often a significant complication of SLE associated with the more severe forms of the disease, and the primary cause of disability that leads to other fatal complications in people with the condition.

In the study, one group of experimental mice was vaccinated with Sm (Smith antigens that are small nuclear ribonucleoproteins: snRNPs) lupus autoantigen in combination with IL-10 and another group vaccinated with the same antigen and IFN-gamma, both signaling molecules involved in the immune process. SLE was induced in the mice and the levels of antibodies against various lupus autoantibodies were analysed. The study found that levels of anti-Sm antibodies in the IL-10 vaccinated group were lower than those in the group vaccinated with IFN-gamma (p=0.026, statistically significant).

Interestingly, the prevalence and levels of other autoantibodies such as anti-Argonaute2 (Ago2)/Su and chromatin did not differ between the groups, indicating that the vaccination was Sm antigen-specific and successfully targeting particular antibodies. Significant proteinuria (a urinary condition which can indicate kidney damage) (>1.5+) was less common in the IL-10 vaccinated group compared with the IFN-gamma group, which may suggest a beneficial role for IL-10 vaccination in preventing kidney damage associated with SLE.

Dr Monica Vazquez
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Contact: Rory Berrie
eularpressoffice@uk.cohnwolfe.com
44-078-643-86425
European League Against Rheumatism
Source:Eurekalert

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