SHANGHAI, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have found that a lack of circular RNAs may spin the immune system out of control and lead to lupus, suggesting new thoughts in lupus treatment.
A research team of scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and doctors from Renji hospital of the school of medicine of Shanghai Jiaotong University found that people with lupus have lower-than-normal levels of circular RNAs, triggering an immune reaction meant to fight viruses.
Lupus is a condition whereby the immune system becomes too active. The pathogenesis of lupus and its radical treatment have so far remained unknown.
Raising levels of circular RNAs in cells taken from lupus patients restored the normal activity of a protein involved in rousing one arm of the immune system, according to Chen Lingling, researcher of the team.
"The findings provide new thoughts in possible therapeutic strategies for lupus treatment," said Shen Nan, researcher of the team.
The results have been published in the world's top journal Cell.