ES-62 is an anti-inflammatory phosphorylcholine-containing glycoprotein secreted by the filarial nematode Acanthocheilonema viteae. Accelerated atherosclerosis frequently occurs in systemic lupus erythematosus, resulting in substantial cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We examined the effects of ES-62 in the gld.apoE(-/-) mouse model of this condition. Treatment with ES-62 did not substantially modulate renal pathology but caused decreased anti-nuclear autoantibody levels. Moreover, a striking 60% reduction in aortic atherosclerotic lesions was observed, with an associated decrease in macrophages and fibrosis. We believe that these latter findings constitute the first example of a defined parasitic worm product with therapeutic potential in atherosclerosis: ES-62-based drugs may represent a novel approach to control accelerated atherosclerosis in systemic lupus erythematosus.
- systemic lupus erythematosus