An update on lupus animal models

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The complexity and heterogeneity of the clinical presentation in systemic lupus of erythematosus (SLE), combined to the inherent limitations of clinical research, have made it difficult to investigate the cause of this disease directly in patients. Various mouse models have been developed to dissect the cellular and genetic mechanisms of SLE, as well as to identify therapeutic targets and to screen treatments. The purpose of this review is to summarize the major spontaneous and induced mouse models of SLE and to provide an update on the major advances they have contributed to the field.

Recent findings

Mouse models of SLE have continued to contribute to understand the cellular, signaling and metabolic mechanisms contributing to the disease and how targeting these pathways can provide therapeutic targets. Whenever possible, we discuss the advantage of using one model over the others to test a specific hypothesis.

Summary

Spontaneous and induced models of lupus models are useful tools for the study of the cause of the disease, identify therapeutic targets and screen treatments in preclinical studies. Each model shares specific subsets of attributes with the disease observed in humans, which provides investigators a tool to tailor to their specific needs.

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