Thursday, January 27, 2011

Raltegravir and autoimmunity

By Dr Jamie Deckoff-Jones MD:

The Beck-Ensenger paper reported raltegravir exacerbated autoimmunity in certain genetically susceptible mice that develop spontaneous autoimmune disease.

"We report here that the activity profile of raltegravir on the replication of murine leukemia virus is similar to that for HIV, and that the drug specifically affects autoimmune disease in mice, in which endogenous retroelements are suspected to play a role. While NZW and BALB/c mice, which do not succumb to autoimmune disease, are not affected by raltegravir, lupus-prone (NZBx- NZW) F1 mice die of glomerulonephritis more than a month earlier than untreated mice."

Furthermore, it is quite possible that when combined with one or more effective reverse transcriptase inhibitors, this effect may be ameliorated. As the paper states:

"there apparently is a causal relationship between accumulation of retroelement DNA and autoimmune disease; the accumulating DNA triggers the type I IFN stimulatory DNA response."

It may well be that the presence of retroviral products and the inflammatory response to them is involved in the development of full blown autoimmune disease. It is even possible that raltegravir alone might exacerbate autoimmunity in certain individuals, but it a big leap from there to raltegravir "might exacerbate CFS".

Jamie Deckoff-Jones MD

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