The present study was designed to investigate the effects of bindarit on animal survival and renal damage in murine lupus autoimmune disease. Female NZB/W mice were used. Bindarit was administered, as a 0.5% medicated diet, starting either before the onset of the pathology or early in the course of the disease, in order to assess the effects of age upon the response. Furthermore, the effects of combined administration of bindarit with low dose i.p. cyclophosphamide bolus were also studied. Proteinuria and anti-dsDNA antibody levels were determined during the course of the study. Renal damage was evaluated by light microscopy. Bindarit markedly prolonged the NZB/W mouse life span (p < 0.001 vs. controls), showing a significant difference even against high dose cyclophosphamide (90 mg/kg ip bolus) chosen as the reference (p < 0.01). Bindarit significantly reduced the degree of renal damage, delayed proteinuria and did not prevent autoantibody development, thus confirming the lack of immunosuppressive activity. The present results and other experimental data demonstrating the capacity of the drug to interfere with the inflammatory and immune response cross-talking, indicate that bindarit exerts its action in murine lupus through a novel and original mechanism. These findings, coupled with the evidence that the drug possesses a very safe toxicological profile, suggest that further investigations to assess the potential value of bindarit in the treatment of SLE are warranted.
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