Our limited knowledge of systemic lupus erythematosus has restricted therapy to empirical and symptomatic approaches. Only corticotropin (ACTH) and the adrenal steroids have been generally accepted as valuable,1 and it is doubtful that these influence the underlying disease.2 Their benefit is probably due to their anti-inflammatory effect. It is the purpose of this paper to report a therapeutic regimen based upon observations 3 on the L. E.-cell phenomenon.4
Klemperer and co-workers 5 have reported that both the L. E.-cell bodies and the hematoxylin bodies found in tissues of patients with lupus contain depolymerized deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA occurs only in the chromosomes of cell nuclei and is thought to be the principal constituent of the gene, the carrier of hereditary characters. The breakdown of this molecule is probably not compatible with cell survival.
The L. E. cell, thus, represents a nucleolytic phenomenon. The depolymerized nuclear material may
KURNICK NB. A Rational Therapy of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;97(5):562-575. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250230056006