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Developing models of autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus in rabbit

, : Developing models of autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus in rabbit. FASEB Journal 18(4-5): Abst 562 14

The unique nature of our allotype-defined rabbit colony facilitates studies to develop strains genetically susceptible to autoimmune disease. Our focus here is a rabbit model of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). SLE is a multisystemic autoimmune disease characterized by autoantibodies to nuclear antigens including dsDNA, Sm, Rnp, SS-A and SS-B. Clinical symptoms may include rash, inflammation (nephritis, arthritis) and neuropsychiatric dysfunction (cognitive decline, psychosis, seizures). Extending earlier published reports, we immunized 6 rabbits with an Sm B/B&39;-derived peptide on a MAP-8 backbone (BB), 4 with an NMDA-derived peptide on BB, and 2 with BB alone. Antisera collected over 9 months and tested by ELISA for antibodies to dsDNA, Sm, Rnp, SS-A and SS-B showed that 5 of the peptide-immunized rabbits developed Lupus-like serology. All rabbits were monitored continually by video cameras with night-vision. Two had seizure-like events, and a third nystagmus. Characterization of the specificity patterns of anti-dsDNA and anti-NMDA-peptide antibodies is underway. Immunohistochemical and microscopic examination of tissues from diverse organs, collected after sacrifice, for immune complex deposition and other pathology is also in progress. The genetically related progeny of these immunized rabbits are now included in our follow-up study.


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