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  • Meeting abstract
  • Open Access

Immunosuppressive effects of gemcitabine in the HSV-induced Behçet's disease like mouse model

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Arthritis Res Ther20035 (Suppl 2) :12

  • Received: 7 July 2003
  • Published:


  • Gemcitabine
  • Pyrimidine
  • Herpes Simplex
  • Cytokine Level
  • Cytokine Profile


To study effects and side effects of gemcitabine (2',2'-difluorodeoxycytidine, dFdC), a pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor, on skin lesions of a herpes simplex virus-induced Behçet's disease (BD)-like mouse model.


Dose-escalation studies with dFdC were performed in ICR mice with intraperitoneal application over 5 days. After inoculation of ICR mice with herpes simplex virus and classification as having BD according to a revised Japanese classification, 18 BD-mice were randomly assigned to placebo, 0.06 or 0.12 μg of dFdC/day over 5 days. Serum levels of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ were determined using ELISA assays.


After application of 3 μg dFdC over 5 days, alanine aminotransferase increased (P = 0.032) but all other kidney and liver parameters were unchanged. In BD mice, 5 days of dFdC treatment with 0.06 or 0.12 μg of dFdC/day resulted in a dose-dependent improvement in cutaneous manifestations by more than 60% (P = 0.017). There was no significant change in cytokine levels and none of the cytokine levels correlated with response to treatment.


DFdC shows promising effects to improve cutaneous lesions in the herpes simplex virus-induced BD-like mouse model. In this animal model, effects of dFdC on the cytokine profile remained inconclusive.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Dermatology and Laboratory of Cell Biology, Ajou University, Suwon, Korea
Department of Dermatology, University of Erlangen, Germany
Department of Internal Medicine, Innsbruck University Hospital, Austria


© BioMed Central Ltd 2003