A variety of autoantibodies is responsible for the tissue injury in autoimmune diseases. We have demonstrated that the human anti-DNA Ab O-81, of which Ids are commonly detected in renal glomeruli of active lupus nephritis, uses the V3-7 gene. We tried to develop a new therapy for lupus nephritis by using chemically modified ribozymes to specifically inhibit the expression of the mRNA of Ig V gene. The transfection of hammerhead ribozyme or the addition of chemically modified ribozyme against the flanking region of V3-7 caused a potent and selective inhibition of anti-DNA production in V3-7-using B cell clones, but not in irrelevant V gene-using clones in vitro. Chemically modified ribozyme was long-acting and resistant to RNase, and nonspecific cytotoxicity of the ribozyme was negligible. To know the efficacy of the ribozyme in vivo, we used a model of immune complex nephritis in SCID mice in which 5 x 106 PBLs from patients with active lupus nephritis (lupus PBL) were transferred twice. The injection of lupus PBL in combination with chemically modified ribozyme to increase resistance to RNase significantly reduced anti-DNA Ab levels in blood and decreased levels of urinary protein in the immune deposit models. Immunofluorescence study also revealed a marked decrease in IgG deposits at renal glomeruli in the ribozyme-treated group. These results indicate an efficacy of chemically modified ribozyme therapy for autoantibody-mediated immune diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy