Oestrogen is a potent disease accelerator in SLE-prone MRL lpr/lpr mice

Clin Exp Immunol. 1990 Jun;80(3):467-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.1990.tb03311.x.


The influence of oestrogen on the lupus disease in MRL/l mice has been investigated. Adult, castrated male and female MRL/l mice were administered with s.c. injections of 3.2 micrograms of 17 beta-oestradiol twice a week. The results clearly demonstrate that a relatively small dose of oestrogen is a potent accelerator of the lupus disease in this mouse strain. Thus, administration of oestrogen accelerates glomerulonephritis, lymphoproliferation and mortality. Our results also indicate that oestrogen exerts a dual effect on the immune system of MRL/l mice by depression of antigen-specific and mitogen-induced T cell responses as well as enhancement of polyclonal B cell activation and autoantibody formation. In addition, even short-term administration of oestrogen in the preclinical phase of the disease resulted in long-lasting effects as evaluated by reduced longevity and aggravation of renal disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / analysis
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Estradiol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Estradiol / toxicity
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulins / analysis
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / chemically induced*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / mortality
  • Lupus Nephritis / chemically induced
  • Lymphoid Tissue / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Estradiol
  • estradiol-17 beta-benzoate