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Treatment of lupus in mice may point the way to human treatment

that patients with lupus may have variation in gene expression. They said they demonstrated that TSA and SAHA "can target expression of disease-modifying genes without affecting the expression of other genes."

Furthermore, the researchers said, since the two compounds reduced kidney disease in mice with systemic lupus, that might indicate a potential use as drugs for people with lupus.

The investigators cautioned that lupus in mice is not the same as lupus in people. For one thing, male and female mice are almost equally affected with the disease, compared to a 9 to 1 ratio of women over men. The pattern of symptoms in systemic lupus in people "is greater and the outcomes more variable" compared to the almost uniform progression of the disease in mice.

"These disease differences emphasize that the positive effects of TSA treatment in mice do no necessarily mean it will be effective in human lupus," Mishra said.

SAHA is available for testing because of studies indicating that it suppresses the growth of prostate cancer; THA has potent antitumor activity in breast cancer.

"Investigation of the potential role of these agents in autoimmune diseases are just beginning," said Mishra.

He said that Christopher M. Reilly of the Medical University of South Carolina, a member of the laboratory of Gary S. Gilkerson M.D., contributed equally to the experiments.


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Contact: Robert Conn, Karen Richardson or Barbara Hahn
rconn@wfubmc.edu
336-716-4587
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
15-Feb-2003


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