A plant-based compound could provide a new treatment for lupus nephritis with fewer side effects, according to a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.
In this study, researchers tested a synthetic, plant-derived compound called CDDO. The drug was administered to 2-month-old mice that had been modified to develop lupus nephritis, which causes kidney inflammation. The compound’s effects were compared with a placebo.The researchers found that CDDO successfully halted both phases of lupus nephritis development in the mice.
Because CDDO is plant based and more natural than existing lupus treatments, the researchers believe it is likely to produce fewer side effects. Furthermore, they have to determine whether CDDO halts lupus development by cutting off activity of certain signaling pathways leading to its development, or whether it curbs immune system activity as a whole. If the latter is true, CDDO could increase infection risk, a problem presented by other lupus treatments.
These findings have to be validated before CDDO can be tested in humans, but the researchers are encouraged by its effectiveness thus far.
Lupus is a progressive disease in which the immune system attacks itself, causing damage to health tissue, cells, and organs. It occurs in two phases: First, the immune system develops antibodies that attack the body’s own DNA. Next, the activated immune system attacks the body. There is currently no cure for lupus, but medications can help manage its symptoms. However, some of these drugs have unwanted side effects and increase the risk of other health problems.
There is no cure for lupus, but there are medications that can help manage its symptoms. However, some of these drugs cause side effects and increase the risk of other health problems. Now, researchers from the University of Houston, TX, say they have discovered a more natural treatment for the disease that uses a plant extract. The research team, led by Chandra Mohan of the Cullen College of Engineering at the University of Houston, publish their findings in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology.
Lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is a progressive disease in which the immune system attacks itself, causing damage to healthy tissue, cells and organs. More than 5 million people worldwide have the condition, with around 1.5 million of these living in the US.