Depression is an early disease manifestation in lupus-prone MRL/lpr mice

Hua Xin Gao, Sean R. Campbell, Min Hui Cui, Pu Zong, Jong hee-Hwang, Maria Gulinello, Chaim Putterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Many lupus patients develop neuropsychiatric manifestations, including cognitive dysfunction, depression, and anxiety. However, it is not clear if neuropsychiatric lupus is a primary disease manifestation, or is secondary to non-CNS disease. We found that MRL/lpr lupus-prone mice exhibited significant depression-like behavior already at 8 weeks of age, despite normal visual working memory, locomotor coordination and social preference. Moreover, depression was significantly correlated with titers of autoantibodies against DNA, NMDA receptors and cardiolipin. Our results indicate that lupus mice develop depression and CNS dysfunction very early in the course of disease, in the absence of substantial pathology involving other target organs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-DNA antibodies
  • Depression
  • Neuropsychiatric lupus
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus


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