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The effects of Chinese herbs on improving survival and inhibiting anti-ds DNA antibody production in lupus mice.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an important autoimmune disease with multiple organ system involvement. From preliminary studies, we have found that six Chinese herbs: Atractylodes ovata, Anqelica sinensis, Cordyceps sinensis, Liqustrum lucidum, Codonopsis pilosula and Homo sapiens can improve defective in vitro interleukin-2 (IL-2) production in patients with SLE. In order to investigate the in vivo effects of these herbs, we used NZB/NZW F1 mice, a typical lupus animal model used to test these herbs. It was found that C. pilosula, H. sapiens and C. sinensis could prolong the life span of female NZB/NZW F1 mice and inhibited anti-ds DNA production. Although A. sinensis could prolong the life span of experimental mice, it did not inhibit the production of anti-ds DNA antibody. These herbs may have great potential for the management of human SLE in the future.

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