Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Common anti-seizure drug could be effective for lupus patients

17.11.2005


A common anti-seizure drug may be effective against certain conditions associated with lupus, according to animal research at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.



The drug, valproic acid (Depakote), prevents skin disease and reduces the severity of kidney disease in a mouse model of lupus, said Nilamadhab Mishra, M.D., a rheumatologist at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

"Valproic acid may be a potential cost-effective disease-modifying agent in lupus," Mishra reported today (Nov. 16) at the American College of Rheumatology meeting in San Diego.


And because the drug has been on the market since 1983, Mishra said that clinical trials to use valproic acid for lupus could begin as early as next year.

"We already know the side effects," he said. That means that researchers can skip over the safety studies and move quickly to clinical trials to test its efficacy. While physicians could prescribe valproic acid "off-label" to lupus patients, "it is better to have a clinical trial to prove that it does help in lupus," Mishra said.

Systemic lupus affects more than 1 million Americans, mostly women. About half of human patients with systemic lupus have kidney problems, but achy joints, skin lesions, frequent fever, arthritis and prolonged or extreme fatigue are far more common.

Mishra’s team tested valproic acid in a type of mouse that develops lupus that is similar to the lupus that occurs in people. None of the mice in the treatment group developed skin disease whereas all mice in the placebo group developed the disease, Mishra said. The results were similar for kidney and diseases of the spleen.

For instance, the spleen ordinarily enlarges in lupus. The size of the spleen in the treatment group was nearly one-third less than the size in the control group.

The study, which was paid for by a $250,000 grant from the Alliance for Lupus Research, was just one of several that Mishra presented at the national meeting,

In a second study, he showed that mithramycin, an antibiotic usually used against tumors, also reduces kidney disease in experimental mice with lupus.

Excess protein in the urine – proteinuria – is a symptom of kidney disease, Mishra said. In this study of mice born with lupus, only 33 percent of the mice getting mithrmycin had excess protein in the urine at 16 weeks, compared to 50 percent of the mice that were not treated. By 19 weeks, the gap had widened, with just 22.2 percent of the mithramycin group having excess protein, compared to 60 percent of the untreated group.

Other kidney function measures also showed a wide difference between the mithramycin group and the control mice. Renal vasculitis – inflammation of the tiny blood vessels in the kidney that can lead to kidney failure – occurred in 90 percent of the untreated mice, compared to 30 percent of the mithramycin group.

Mishra said that mithramycin might have a beneficial effect in people with lupus. "Further studies are warranted," he said.

At the same meeting, Mishra also described additional results from his ongoing research using a drug called TSA (Trichostatin A) on lupus. He described testing TSA on a second variety of mice that develop an autoimmune disorder similar to human systemic lupus.

In 2003, he had reported that in the same mouse model he used in the valproic acid and mithramycin studies, TSA led to a significant reduction in excess protein in the urine, inflammation of the kidneys, and spleen weight.

The new study, done in New Zealand Black and New Zealand White mice – which also develop an autoimmune disorder similar to lupus – had similar results.

Lupus is known as an autoimmune disorder because the body’s own immune system turns on the rest of the body and attacks tissues and organs including the joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain and blood.

Robert Conn | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>