Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus) is an autoimmune disease arising from the immune imbalance caused by a genetic mutation, hormonal imbalance, environmental factors (such as lifestyle or stress), or the complex interactions of these factors. To date, the pathogenesis of the condition has not been clearly established.
Based on progression, a cocktail of chemotherapy medication and immunosuppressive drugs with steroids are administered, but the issue of side effects and resistance remain. Lupus primarily affects young women in their childbearing age, and the prevalence is on the increasing trend.
Main symptoms of Lupus
Lupus is a systemic disease caused by the autoantigen-autoantibody complex. Cumulation of autoantibodies on the target organ, which can be the skin, joint, muscle, kidney, nerves and others, lead to chronic inflammation. One of the indicative symptoms is abnormalities on skin mucous membranes which manifest in about 60% of patients; rashes on the skin, such as round lesions, disk-shaped rashes or bulla which appear on the face, neck, ears, shoulders, or hand etc.
Especially, butterfly-shaped red rash and photosensitive rashes from sunlight (ultraviolet) on the nose and cheeks are frequently observed in Lupus patients. The mucous membrane can appear anywhere on the body, including the nose and anus, but an oral ulcer is the most common symptom.
Initially, it is accompanied by fever, fatigue, weight loss and pain, but later, kidney function declines or occurs, including musculoskeletal abnormalities and cranial nerve symptoms. Around 25-60% show the onset of kidney inflammation, and without proper treatment, advance into terminal renal failure and death. Therefore, there is need to develop remedies for the treatment of lupus.