Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) in MRL/lpr mice

We routinely run systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in MRL/lpr mice at Hooke. Because it clinically resembles SLE in human patients and is relatively short (6 weeks), this is the most commonly used model of SLE.

MRL/lpr mice are homozygous for spontaneous mutation in the Fas gene, and develop lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes), splenomegaly (enlarged spleen), anti-nuclear and anti-dsDNA antibodies, and systemic autoimmunity. Autoimmune responses occur spontaneously in these mice, resulting in arthritis and glomerulonephritis resembling SLE in people.

We run this model in female mice; treatment usually starts when mice are 11 weeks old. By 17 weeks of age, all control mice (untreated) will develop kidney pathology - usually studies end at that point.

Our standard in vivo readouts are proteinuria and body weight, both measured weekly.

At the end of the study, we measure spleen weight, do kidney histology, and analyze anti-dsDNA antibodies, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatine in serum. In some studies, we also perform histological analysis of spleens and measure spleen follicle diameter.

Autoimmune responses such as production of anti-nuclear antibodies are detectable as early as 8 weeks of age. Extensive kidney pathology is found at 4 to 7 months of age.

Please contact Hooke at or with questions or for a quotation.

Results from a typical SLE study in MRL/lpr mice at Hooke

Proteinuria
Proteinuria
Kidney histology
Kidney histology
Anti-dsDNA antibodies
Anti-dsDNA antibodies
Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
Spleen follicle diameter
Spleen follicle diameter
Spleen follicle number
Spleen follicle number

Typical histological findings in kidneys:

Vehicle
/services/cro/sle/sle_MRLlpr/VehicleKidney1-1_1200px.jpg
Cyclophosphamide
/services/cro/sle/sle_MRLlpr/CyclophosphamideKidney4-1_1200px.jpg
Vehicle
/services/cro/sle/sle_MRLlpr/VehicleKidney2-2_1200px.jpg
Cyclophosphamide
/services/cro/sle/sle_MRLlpr/CyclophosphamideKidney4-3_1200px.jpg

Typical histological findings in spleen:

Vehicle
/services/cro/sle/sle_MRLlpr/VehicleSpleen1-1_1200px.jpg
Cyclophosphamide
/services/cro/sle/sle_MRLlpr/CyclophosphamideSpleen4-4_1200px.jpg