Here's some MORE good news on the lupus research front, this time from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
(Article quoted below from NewsGuide.us, 6/1/2010)
It seems that NIH scientists have discovered that the activation of immune cells called basophils causes kidney damage in a mouse model of lupus nephritis. These findings and the team's associated research in humans may lead to new treatments for this serious disease, a severe form of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that affects the kidneys and is difficult to treat.
One such potential treatment, the asthma medicine omalizumab, is already on the market. It blocks IgE from binding to the surface, and potential activation, of basophil cells, which might prevent basophils from promoting kidney inflammation. The NIH team is currently planning a safety study of omalizumab in people with SLE.
"We are excited by the potential of these findings in the treatment of lupus. Obviously, whether omalizumab treatment or other strategies to reduce basophil activation in lupus will prove efficacious remains to be seen. Nonetheless, this work opens new avenues of investigation in lupus and, at the very least, we have gained an understanding of how autoantibody production is enhanced in this disease," said Juan Rivera, Ph.D., the study's senior author and deputy scientific director at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the NIH institute that conducted the study.
Click here to read the entire article. Lupus nephritis sufferers - headway is being made and hope is on its way!