Deficiency of 5-lipoxygenase abolishes sex-related survival differences in MRL-lpr/lpr mice

Jennifer L. Goulet, Robert C. Griffiths, Phillip Ruiz, Robert F. Spurney, David S. Pisetsky, Beverly H. Koller, Thomas M. Coffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Leukotrienes, the 5-lipoxygenase (5LO) products of arachidonic acid metabolism, have many proinflammatory actions that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of inflammatory diseases. To investigate the role of LTs in autoimmune disease, we generated an MRL-lpr/lpr mouse line with a targeted disruption of the 5lo gene. MRL-lpr/lpr mice spontaneously develop autoimmune disease that has many features resembling human systemic lupus erythematosus, including sex-related survival differences; female MRL- lpr/lpr mice experience significant early mortality compared with males. Unexpectedly, we found that mortality was accelerated in male 5LO-deficient MRL-lpr/lpr mice compared with male wild-type MRL-lpr/lpr animals. In contrast, the 5lo mutation had no effect on survival in females. Mortality was also accelerated in male MRL-lpr/lpr mice that were treated chronically with a pharmacological inhibitor of LT synthesis. Furthermore, LT-dependent inflammatory responses are enhanced in male MRL-lpr/lpr mice compared with females, and the 5lo mutation has greater impact on these responses in males. Because immune complex-mediated glomerulonephritis is the major cause of death in MRL-lpr/lpr mice and has been related to arachidonic acid metabolites, we also assessed kidney function and histopathology. In male MRL-lpr/lpr mice, renal plasma flow was significantly reduced in the 5lo(-/- ) compared with the 5lo(+/+) group, although there were no differences in the severity of renal histopathology, lymphoid hyperplasia, or arthritis between the groups. These findings suggest that the presence of a functional 5lo gene confers a survival advantage on male MRL-lpr/lpr mice and that, when 5LO function is inhibited, either genetically or pharmacologically, this advantage is abolished.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-366
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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