For lupus treatment, drug delivery may be key

Mikael Häggström [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system becomes dysregulated, attacking the body’s own cells and tissues and causing inflammation and subsequent damage. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common and serious form of lupus. There is no cure; treatments instead focus on suppressing the immune response in order to minimize organ damage. Many currently available drugs must be taken continually, and some are quite toxic, leading to a high rate of treatment noncompliance. Immunobiologists continue to search for strategies that can target immunosuppressant drugs to specific immune cells, lowering the dose of medication that is effective. Scientists at Yale University (New Haven, CT) now report successful treatment of a mouse model of SLE using nanogel technology to deliver relatively low but effective doses of the immunosuppressant mycophenolic acid (MPA), a form of which is already used to treat SLE in humans.

Lab Anim. (NY) 42, 156 (2013).
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