Contact: Katarina Sternudd
Researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have discovered a new control mechanism in our immune system. The discovery is of potential significance to the treatment of serious diseases such as MS (multiple sclerosis), rheumatoid arthritis, and SLE (Systemic lupus erythematosus).
Contact: Arturo Zychlinsky
Lupus is a disease where the immune system attacks healthy cells of the body. This leads to progressive damage of different tissues and organs. The classical characteristic of the disease is the so-called butterfly rash in the face. Many Lupus patients eventually die of kidney failure. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin together with medical scientists from the University of Erlangen succeeded in elucidating basic principles of the disease. This opens up new perspectives for methods that might enable early diagnosis and treatment of Lupus patients with a high risk at kidney failure. (PNAS, May 3, 2010)
Contact: phyllis fisher
Hospital for Special Surgery
Investigators have identified a new disease mechanism and therapeutic approach for a type of advanced kidney disease that is a common cause of complications in patients with lupus. The study was led by investigators at Hospital for Special Surgery and appears in the January 25 online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Identical twins look the same and are nearly genetically identical, but environmental factors and the resulting cellular changes could cause disease in one sibling and not the other. In a study published online in www.genome.org), scientists have studied twins discordant for the lupus, mapping DNA modifications across the genome and shedding light on epigenetic changes that may play a role in the disease. (
Human Genome Sciences (HGS) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announced positive results from BLISS-76, the second of two large-scale phase III clinical trials of BENLYSTA(TM) (belimumab) for treating systemic lupus. A full presentation of results from BLISS-52 was recently shared at the 73rd Annual Scientific meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. Both trials succeeded in meeting their primary endpoints, which should make BENLYSTA eligible for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Macrophages, the scavenger cells of the body’s immune system, are responsible for disposing of dying cells. Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have identified one pathway in this important process in mice that, if disrupted, causes a lupuslike autoimmune disease.
Today, The Lewin Group, a national health care consulting firm, issued recommendations on ways to overcome the barriers that have obstructed lupus drug development resulting in no new drug approval for this disease in more than 50 years â€“ since the Eisenhower Administration. The recommendations are included in the report, “Overcoming Barriers to Drug Development in Lupus,” which is the outcome of a 9-month study commissioned by the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. (LFA). The recommendations highlight the need for a national collaborative and coordinated effort among key stakeholders, including the FDA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers and scientists from academia, the LFA, and industry, to implement a range of initiatives that would create a path forward to develop a robust arsenal of safe, effective, and more tolerable treatments for this difficult to treat and devastating disease.
A new treatment using a combination of drugs targeting different parts of the immune system improves the recovery rate for patients with severe lupus involving the kidneys, according to a report in the October Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).
International study finds potential biomarkers for psychosis and cerebrovascular disease in patients diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), commonly known as lupus, can affect nearly any part of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, nervous system, and brain. Along with joint pain, muscle pain, unexplained fever, extreme fatigue, and skin rashes, neurologic and psychiatric events often accompany this autoimmune disease. Depending on the study, between 37 and 95 percent of SLE patients experience signs and symptoms of neuropsychiatric (NP) disease. Determining the correct attribution to NP events is a challenge when managing nervous system disease in individual SLE patients, as well as a critical factor in selecting the right treatment and evaluating progress. For guidance in these decisions, doctors need reliable biomarkers — which, as dedicated researchers know, have proven difficult to find.
Findings pinpoint numerous proteins as potential autoimmune disease targets
The new study was published in the January 18 edition (Volume 28, Issue 1) of the journal Immunity.
The lupus-suppressing action is the result of what is known as a nonsense mutation of the Coronin-1A gene (Coro1a) required for the development of the disease. A nonsense mutation causes the gene to produce proteins that no longer function. The Coronin-1A gene is a multifunctional regulator of the cytoskeleton, a network of protein fibers or filaments in the cell that helps maintain cell shape and is the key contributor to cell movement.