Betty P. Tsao, PhD, University of California at Los Angeles

"Effects of Statin and ApoA-1 Mimetic Peptide in a Mouse Model of Heart Disease in Lupus"

2005-2008 Lupus Related Cardiovascular Research Grant Award

The researchers have established ApoE-/Fas-/-C57BL/6 mice that on a normal chow diet spontaneously develop aortic lesions, autoantibodies to dsDNA and cardiolipin, and renal abnormalities. Using these mice as a model for atherosclerosis in lupus patients, researchers will test effects of placebo, pravastatin apolipoprotein A1 mimetic peptide D-4F, or both combined on atherosclerosis and lupus-like phenotypes. Changes in phenotypes in these four treated groups will be correlated to various laboratory tests using their blood samples for the identification of potential biomarkers for the disease processes. Results from these studies are likely to further researchers' understanding of heart disease in lupus patients.