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DNA vaccine encoding heat shock protein 90 protects from murine lupus.

  • Author(s): Liu, Aijing
  • Shi, Fu-Dong
  • Cohen, Irun R
  • Castaldo, Giuseppe
  • Matarese, Giuseppe
  • Quintana, Francisco J
  • La Cava, Antonio
  • et al.
Abstract

BACKGROUND:Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by the presence of autoantibodies to multiple self-antigens, including heat shock proteins (HSP). Because of the increased expression of HSP90 and abnormal immune responses to it in SLE, we investigated whether an HSP90 DNA vaccine could modulate the development and clinical manifestations of SLE in lupus-prone mice. METHODS:(NZB x NZW)F1 (NZB/W) mice were vaccinated with DNA constructs encoding HSP90 or control plasmids or vehicle. The mice were then monitored for survival, circulating anti-dsDNA autoantibodies, and immune phenotypes. Renal disease was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and by the measurement of proteinuria. RESULTS:Vaccination with HSP90 DNA reduced lupus disease manifestations and prolonged the survival of NZB/W mice. The protective effects of the HSP90 DNA vaccine associated with the induction of tolerogenic dendritic cells (DCs) and an expansion of T regulatory cells (Tregs). CONCLUSIONS:The beneficial effects of DNA vaccination with HSP90 in murine SLE support the possibility of HSP90-based therapeutic modalities of intervention in SLE.

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