Heat shock protein 90 inhibition by 17-DMAG lessens disease in the MRL/lpr mouse model of systemic lupus erythematosus.
ABSTRACT Elevated expression of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) has been found in kidneys and serum of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and MRL/Mp-Fas(lpr)/Fas(lpr) (MRL/lpr) autoimmune mice. We investigated if inhibition of HSP90 would reduce disease in MRL/lpr mice. In vitro, pretreatment of mesangial cells with HSP90 inhibitor Geldanamycin prior to immune-stimulation showed reduced expression of IL-6, IL-12 and NO. In vivo, we found HSP90 expression was elevated in MRL/lpr kidneys when compared to C57BL/6 mice and MRL/lpr mice treated with HSP90 inhibitor 17-DMAG. MRL/lpr mice treated with 17-DMAG showed decreased proteinuria and reduced serum anti-dsDNA antibody production. Glomerulonephritis and glomerular IgG and C3 were not significantly affected by administration of 17-DMAG in MRL/lpr. 17-DMAG increased CD8(+) T cells, reduced double-negative T cells, decreased the CD4/CD8 ratio and reduced follicular B cells. These studies suggest that HSP90 may play a role in regulating T-cell differentiation and activation and that HSP90 inhibition may reduce inflammation in lupus.