Introduction: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is characterized by a variety of autoantibodies and systemic clinical manifestations. A tolerogenic peptide, hCDR1, ameliorated lupus manifestations in mice models. The objectives of this study were to induce experimental SLE in pigs and to determine the ability of hCDR1 to immunomodulate the disease manifestations. Results and Discussion: We report here the successful induction, by a monoclonal anti-DNA antibody, of an SLE-like disease in pigs, manifested by autoantibody production and glomerular immune complex deposits. Treatment of pigs with hCDR1 ameliorated the lupus-related manifestations. Furthermore, the treatment downregulated the gene expression of the pathogenic cytokines, interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor alpha, interferon gamma, and IL-10, and upregulated the expression of the immunosuppressive cytokine transforming growth factor beta, the antiapoptotic molecule Bcl-xL, and the suppressive master gene, Foxp3, hence restoring the expression of the latter to normal levels. Thus, hCDR1 is capable of ameliorating lupus in large animals and is a potential candidate for the treatment of SLE patients.
- Experimental SLE in pigs
- Glomerular immune complex deposits
- Immunomodulation of gene expression
- Peptide therapy