Diet-induced systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in primates

Am J Kidney Dis. 1982 May;1(6):345-52. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(82)80005-x.


Ten adult, female cynomolgus macaques were randomly assigned to two equal groups: (1) semipurified diet (SPD); and (2) SPD with 45% ground alfalfa seed (AS). Both groups were studied at monthly intervals after 5 mo on their respective diets. Control animals had a mean hematocrit (Hct) of 43 +/- 2%, negative antiglobulin (AG), antinuclear antibody (ANA) and LE cell tests. Mean values for C3 and C4 were 309 +/- 47 mg/dl and 35 +/- 7 mg/dl, respectively. Mean serum binding to radiolabeled double stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (dsDNA) was 1.9 +/- 0.2%. Three of five animals fed AS developed signs of an SLE-like illness characterized by AG-positive anemia (lowest Hct 30%), positive ANA (highest titer greater than 1:15, 360; rim pattern) and elevated anti-dsDNA binding (highest 96%) with variable degrees of hypocomplementemia. One animal had granular deposition of immunoglobulin and complement at the dermal-epidermal junction of clinically normal skin the presence of immune complex-induced glomerulonephritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Coombs Test
  • Counterimmunoelectrophoresis
  • DNA / immunology
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Hematocrit
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / etiology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Medicago sativa*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neutrophils


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • DNA