Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease with characteristic organ involvement and autoantibodies production. The pathogenicity and etiology of the disease has yet to be elucidated. It is presently accepted that environmental factors trigger the disease in genetically sensitive individuals. Gluten, a protein fraction commonly found in wheat grains, associated with food related disorders and a number of autoimmune diseases. We hypothesized that gluten containing diet would further exacerbate an already undergoing arbitrary immune reaction in SLE patients. Pristane was injected in female BALB/c mice to induce the disease. After five months, mice in various groups were treated with prednisone and fed with gluten containing and standard diet for four weeks and applied procedure to detect minor changes in paw swelling, ANA autoantibodies, CCL11, C3c, glucose level and renal damage. We detected increased symptoms of arthritis and gastrointestinal tract involvement in gluten containing diet group compared with standard diet disease control group. ANA autoantibodies, C3c and renal damage between gluten and standard diet group was non-significant. The remission of SLE manifestations was observed in prednisone treated group except renal damage. From the study it was concluded that gluten intake could worsen the clinical manifestations in SLE patients, therefore, administration of gluten free diet might be a better strategy for SLE patients. However, further confirmatory studies are required in this regard.
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