Date of this Version
Nature Immunology, VOL 22, June 2021, 683–686
As a follow up to a 2010 meeting deliberating on the benefits of studying mouse models of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the virtual conference “Mouse models of lupus 10 years later” convened on 10 December 2020 to address a challenging decade that saw few new therapies approved, despite leaps in knowledge
Abnormalities in both innate and adaptive immunity characterize SLE, a systemic autoimmune disease with potentially severe consequences in patients. Treatment has traditionally been limited to broad-acting, side-effect-heavy immunosuppressants, which are also incompletely effective. Thus, the need for specific therapies targeting the pathogenic mechanisms of SLE remains unmet. Affirming the utility of mouse models in lupus research, a meeting convened in 2010 recommended that the next decade’s research embrace these for their mechanistic insights; their diversity of phenotypes, which mirrors the heterogeneity observed among patients with lupus; and as a platform for clinical exploration. A decade later, hope persists; studies of murine models of lupus have uncovered putative therapies, and many were moved to clinical trials. Unfortunately, few interventions improved patient outcomes: belimumab was the sole therapy brought to market in the 2010s. The continuing difficulties in translating potential into success1–3 prompted a second conference, which was recorded.