The Impact of High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity on Lupus Pathogenesis and Autoimmunity in MRL/lpr Mice

by | Dec 27, 2023 | News

The development of lupus involves a mix of genetic, environmental, hormonal, and epigenetic factors. Among these, dietary habits, especially a high-fat diet (HFD), can significantly affect the immune system’s balance in the gut. Evidence from epidemiological studies suggests that the prevalence of chronic inflammatory diseases like diabetes, lupus, gout, inflammatory bowel disease, and obesity is linked to the consumption of a high-fat diet (HFD).

Research showed that Feeding MRL/lpr mice a high-fat diet (HFD) accelerated and intensified the development of lupus and autoimmune responses. These findings closely mirror what is observed in human lupus cases, revealing a parallel between the mouse model and clinical scenarios. Notably, the study suggests that male lupus patients, like their mouse counterparts, may be more prone to severe nephritis. In contrast, female lupus patients might present with a broader spectrum of lupus symptoms. Female mice on HFD developed skin rashes, showing a higher skin score on the examination. Male mice on HFD exhibited increased splenomegaly, proteinuria, and anti-double-strand DNA levels. Kidney issues were more severe in males on HFD, with a significant increase in the kidney index.

This insight sheds light on potential connections between diet, gender, and lupus manifestations, underscoring the need for further exploration in both preclinical models and human studies.

More research is necessary to understand how changes in gut bacteria contribute to the worsening of lupus and autoimmune responses caused by HFD.

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