Treatment of lupus patients with a tolerogenic peptide, hCDR1 (Edratide): Immunomodulation of gene expression

Zev M. Sthoeger, Amir Sharabi, Yair Molad, Ilan Asher, Heidy Zinger, Molly Dayan, Edna Mozes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by dysregulation of cytokines, apoptosis, and B- and T-cell functions. The tolerogenic peptide, hCDR1 (Edratide), ameliorated the clinical manifestations of murine lupus via down-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and apoptosis, up-regulation of the immunosuppressive cytokine TGF-β, and the induction of regulatory T-cells. In the present study, gene expression was determined in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 9 lupus patients that were treated for 26 weeks with either hCDR1 (five patients), or placebo (four patients). Disease activity was assessed by SLEDAI-2K and the BILAG scores. Treatment with hCDR1 significantly down-regulated the mRNA expression of the pathogenic cytokines IL-1β, TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-10, of BLyS (B-lymphocyte stimulator) and of the pro-apoptotic molecules caspase-3 and caspase-8. In contrast, the treatment up-regulated in vivo gene expression of both TGF-β and FoxP3. Furthermore, hCDR1 treatment resulted in a significant decrease in SLEDAI-2K (from 8.0 ± 2.45 to 4.4 ± 1.67; P = 0.02) and BILAG (from 8.2 ± 2.7 to 3.6 ± 2.9; P = 0.03) scores. Thus, the tolerogenic peptide hCDR1, immunomodulates, in vivo, the expression of genes that play a role in SLE, consequently restoring the global immune dysregulation of lupus patients. Hence, hCDR1 has a potential role as a novel disease-specific treatment for lupus patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Autoimmunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunomodulation of gene expression
  • Lupus patients
  • Peptide-based treatment
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Tolerogenic peptide


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