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Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2000 Sep;12(5):399-406.

The potential use of peptides and vaccination to treat systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Universisty of Cincinnati College of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Ohio 45267-0563, USA.


Studies in humans and mice with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) suggest that the development of autoantibodies and disease is dependent on T helper (Th) cells. This review highlights recent efforts to identify the antigens that activate such autoreactive Th cells. Various laboratories are using different approaches to identify the autoantigenic epitopes, which appear to be derived from diverse sources such as nucleosome core histones, ribonucleoproteins, and immunoglobulin variable regions. Identification of the putative autoantigenic epitopes has raised the possibility of peptide-specific vaccination as therapy for SLE. Indeed, vaccination of prenephritic lupus-susceptible mice with such peptides delays the development of autoantibodies and nephritis, and prolongs survival. Recent data suggest that peptide treatment can also influence established disease in older lupus mice. These studies offer new hope for a similar treatment approach in patients with SLE. Studies have begun to identify T cell epitopes in human disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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