Restoring the balance of a protein in the blood may be a promising treatment option for lupus, a new study has shown.
In lupus patients, the immune system that normally protects against infection paradoxically attacks healthy tissues and organs, making them inflamed.
Researchers at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) found that levels of CXCL5 (a protein that helps regulate the immune system through neutrophils, a type of white blood cell) in the blood of lupus patients were significantly lower than in healthy individuals. , suggesting that the protein could be a cause of lupus activity.
Additionally, the team found that weekly injections of CXCL5 into mice with severe lupus restored CXCL5 balance and improved survival from 25% to over 70% at 10 weeks. Kidney function improved and disease inflammatory activity decreased compared to saline-treated mice. When CXCL5 was given alongside cyclophosphamide (a potent conventional immunosuppressive treatment for lupus), CXCL5 appeared to prevent the drug’s toxic side effects, allowing the mice to survive for up to two years.
The results of the study, which began 8 years ago, were published last month in a leading rheumatology journal, Arthritis & Rheumatology, and highlighted as a major study in Nature Reviews Rheumatology. “We are excited about the possibility of a new treatment option for lupus, as 30-60% of patients fail to respond to conventional medications despite aggressive regimens. Over the past 65 years, only three lupus drugs have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, but these drugs have modest efficacy.
“Our study demonstrated that CXCL5 is safe. No hepatic or renal toxicity, nor carcinogenic effects were found. Major components of the immune system were also not affected,” said study first author Fan Xiubo, from the SGH’s Department of Clinical Translational Research.
- CXCL5 administration dampens inflammation and improves survival in murine lupus via myeloid and neutrophil pathways (onlinelibrary.wiley.com)