We have reported previously that the IRAK4 inhibitor PF06426779 given to ubiquitin-binding-defective ABIN1[D485N] mice at 6 weeks of age prevents the major facets of lupus that develop 10 weeks later. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether PF06426779 could reverse the lupus phenotype when administered to 13-week-old ABIN1[D485N] mice that had already developed symptoms of lupus.
Splenomegaly, the number of splenic neutrophils, T and Germinal Centre B (GCB) cells, serum levels of immunoglobulins, the extent of kidney, liver and lung pathology, and glomerular IgA and IgM were measured after feeding 13-week-old ABIN1[D485N] and wild-type mice for another 10 weeks with R&M3 diet with and without PF06426779 (4 g/kg).
Following drug treatment, spleen size and weight, splenic neutrophil numbers, and serum IgA and glomerular IgA levels of ABIN1[D485N] mice returned to those seen in wild-type mice. The rise in splenic T and GCB numbers, the increase in kidney and liver pathology, and the concentrations of serum IgG1, IgG2A and IgE between 13 and 23 weeks were suppressed. There was no reduction in the level of anti-self double-stranded DNA, anti-self nuclear antigens or IgM during the drug treatment.
The results demonstrate the therapeutic potential of IRAK4 inhibitors for the treatment of lupus and raise the possibility of monitoring efficacy by measuring decreases in the serum levels of IgA. Our results support the view that there may be a closer connection between lupus and IgA nephropathy than realised previously.

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