Malaria drug combo could help prevent pregnancy complications in lupus patients

January 22, 2014 by Karen N. Peart, Yale University
Malaria drug combo could help prevent pregnancy complications in lupus patients
Credit: Shutterstock

An anti-malaria drug combination might be useful in helping to prevent pregnancy complications in women with lupus and the related disorder antiphospholipid syndrome, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found in a new study published in the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology.

Circulating antibodies called antiphospholipid antibodies are normally produced by the body to recognize and attack bacteria and other microbe. In those with lupus and/or , however, these antibodies recognize and attack the body's own proteins, putting women at high risk for and late gestational complications, such as preeclampsia.

Patients with lupus or antiphospholipid syndrome are often treated with the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine. While the drug can be safely continued during pregnancy, it was unknown whether it might be beneficial in preventing in women with lupus and/or antiphospholipid syndrome.

In this new study, senior author Vikki M. Abrahams, associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale, and first author and Yale medical student Caroline Albert explored whether the drug could treat obstetrical antiphospholipid syndrome.

Abrahams and Albert used a lab-based system to measure the detrimental effects of antiphospholipid antibodies on human placental trophoblast cell function.

"We found that hydroxychloroquine partially reversed some, but not all, of the detrimental effects of antiphospholipid antibodies on human placental cell function," said Abrahams. "So perhaps some form of combination therapy that includes hydroxychloroquine may be beneficial to pregnant patients with lupus and/or antiphospholipid syndrome."

Explore further: Study identifies biomarker linked to poor outcomes in pregnant lupus patients

Related Stories

Study identifies biomarker linked to poor outcomes in pregnant lupus patients

October 28, 2013
Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City have identified a biomarker that may predict poor pregnancy outcomes in lupus patients.

Study sheds light on pregnancy complications and overturns common belief

July 3, 2012
A study led by Hospital for Special Surgery researchers has demonstrated that women who have a specific type of antibody that interferes with blood vessel function are at risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes and that other ...

Statins have potential to treat an autoimmune clotting disorder called antiphospholipid syndrome

November 11, 2012
New research suggests that statins, traditionally used for cholesterol lowering, could be used in the management of individuals who are at risk for developing clotting because they have autoimmune antiphospholipid antibodies ...

Autoimmune disease linked to pregnancy loss, stroke more often than you'd expect

November 11, 2012
For years, researchers have known that antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) can cause pregnancy loss and clotting, but they haven't known the true scope of the problem. Now a new study provides the first estimates of the prevalence ...

Most women with lupus can have successful pregnancy outcomes

November 6, 2011
Promising research led by investigators at Hospital for Special Surgery may offer hope for women with lupus who once thought that pregnancy was too risky.

Recommended for you

Immune signature predicts asthma susceptibility

February 16, 2018
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease driven by the interplay of genetics, environmental factors and a diverse cast of immune cells. In their latest study, researchers at La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LJI) ...

Scientists identify immune cascade that fuels complications, tissue damage in chlamydia infections

February 13, 2018
Closing a critical gap in knowledge, Harvard Medical School scientists have unraveled the immune cascade that fuels tissue damage and disease development in chlamydia infection—the most common sexually transmitted disease ...

Mouse study adds to evidence linking gut bacteria and obesity

February 12, 2018
A new Johns Hopkins study of mice with the rodent equivalent of metabolic syndrome has added to evidence that the intestinal microbiome—a "garden" of bacterial, viral and fungal genes—plays a substantial role in the development ...

Cancer killing clue could lead to safer and more powerful immunotherapies

February 12, 2018
New research could help to safely adapt a new immunotherapy—currently only effective in blood cancers—for the treatment of solid cancers, such as notoriously hard-to-treat brain tumours.

Mechanism behind autoimmune disorder revealed

February 7, 2018
Northwestern Medicine scientists discovered a previously-unknown mechanism of disease behind a specific autoimmune disorder, findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Study shows how body prevents potentially useful bacteria from causing disease

February 7, 2018
A new study reveals a mechanism by which the immune system may decide whether a bacterial species is a partner in bodily processes or an invader worthy of attack.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.