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Short DNA Improves Disease in Lupus Model

Last Updated: June 04, 2009.

Short pieces of DNA reduce the autoimmune response, reduce the manifestations of disease, and improve survival in a mouse model of lupus, according to a study published online May 28 in Arthritis Research & Therapy.

THURSDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Short pieces of DNA reduce the autoimmune response, reduce the manifestations of disease, and improve survival in a mouse model of lupus, according to a study published online May 28 in Arthritis Research & Therapy.

Petar Lenert, M.D., from the University of Iowa in Iowa City tested the effectiveness of DNA-like compounds called class R inhibitory oligonucleotides (INH-ODNs), which contain a sequence that inhibits an activator of autoimmunity in B cells, in autoimmune B cells and interferon-α-producing dendritic cells. They also tested the INH-ODNs in a mouse model of systemic lupus erythematosus, a disease in which autoimmune B cells play an important role.

The researchers found that the INH-ODNs were effective in reducing the activation of autoimmune B cells and interferon-α secretion from dendritic cells. In mice, the INH-ODNs improved survival and reduced lymphadenomegaly, proteinuria, the composite renal score, glomerular and peritubular antibody deposits, and autoantibody secretion.

"The increased potency of class R INH-ODNs for autoreactive B cells and dendritic cells may be beneficial for lupus patients by providing pathway-specific inhibition yet allowing them to generate protective immune response when needed," Lenert and colleagues conclude.

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