Lupus nephritis: Animal modeling of a complex disease syndrome pathology

Tracy L. McGaha*, Michael P. Madaio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Nephritis as a result of autoimmunity is a common morbidity associated with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). There is substantial clinical and industry interest in medicinal intervention in the SLE nephritic process; however, clinical trials to specifically treat lupus nephritis have not resulted in complete and sustained remission in all patients. Multiple mouse models have been used to investigate the pathologic interactions between autoimmune reactivity and SLE pathology. While several models bear a remarkable similarity to SLE-driven nephritis, there are limitations for each that can make the task of choosing the appropriate model for a particular aspect of SLE pathology challenging. This is not surprising given the variable and diverse nature of human disease. In many respects, features among murine strains mimic some (but never all) of the autoimmune and pathologic features of lupus patients. Although the diversity often limits universal conclusions relevant to pathogenesis, they provide insights into the complex process that result in phenotypic manifestations of nephritis. Thus nephritis represents a microcosm of systemic disease, with variable lesions and clinical features. In this review, we discuss some of the most commonly used models of lupus nephritis (LN) and immune-mediated glomerular damage examining their relative strengths and weaknesses, which may provide insight in the human condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalDrug Discovery Today: Disease Models
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


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