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Myeloma Drug Relieves Lupus Pathology in Mice

Bortezomib eliminates autoreactive plasma cells

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Treating mice with lupus with bortezomib, a drug approved to treat multiple myeloma, eliminates autoreactive plasma cells, reduces glomerulonephritis and improves survival, according to study findings published online June 8 in Nature Medicine.

Kirsten Neubert, from University Hospital Erlangen in Germany, and colleagues examined the effect of bortezomib on plasma cells in normal mice and in two mouse models of lupus.

The researchers found that the drug depleted both short- and long-lived plasma cells primarily by activating the terminal unfolded protein response and inducing apoptosis. In mice with a lupus-like disease, bortezomib eliminated plasma cells producing autoantibodies and antibodies to double-stranded DNA, reduced glomerulonephritis, and improved survival.

"Hence, the elimination of autoreactive plasma cells by proteasome inhibitors might represent a new treatment strategy for antibody-mediated diseases," Neubert and colleagues conclude.

The study authors have declared that they have competing financial interests, with details available by accessing the full text link for the article.

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