Animal Experiments

Animal Experiments to find clinical treatment protocols

Bordet, Belgian bacteriologist, 1870-1961, Nobel Prize 1919, discovers the complement system by using animal experiments. He injects rabbit red blood cells to guinea pig peritoneum together with fresh serum (containing complement) and observes hemolysis. Bordets work is important for understanding bacteriolysis.

Animal experiments let develop drugs which should help elimination of chronically circulating and/or tissue deposited immune complexes. If such experiments have not always led to groundbreaking discoveries of new therapeutic concepts (example: beneficial activity of i.v. immunoglobulins (IVIG, see: Clinical Pathology, Flash animation of immune complex diseases and IVIG), they remain important for testing drugs prior their introduction into phase I,II or III studies.

Animal experiments have supported introduction of the following drugs used to treat immune complex disease: steroids, 6-mercaptopurin (6-MP), methotrexate (MTX) among others. 6-MP and MTX were discovered whilst treating experimental autoimmune thyroiditis of guinea pigs. Cyclophosphamide (Cy), cyclosporine (CsA), tacrolimus, everolimus (works as mammalian target of rapamycin, mTOR), mycophenolate mofetil, hydroxychloroquine, leflunomide, talidomide, etanercept as well as an array of monoclonal antibodies including infliximab, basiliximab, rituximab, declizumab and eflizumab have been tested with animal experiments.

They might serve as adjuvants in certain immune-complex diseases. As of the year 2012 we know that interleukin 17 plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease and will serve increasingly a therapeutic toehold