The British journal of dermatology, 145(5):799-804, 2001
The British journal of dermatology
BACKGROUND: Chronic oral aphthae, recurrent genital ulcers and uveitis are the three main manifestations of Behçet's disease (BD). The aetiopathogenesis of BD is still obscure, but herpes simplex virus (HSV) is one of the possible causal factors. Various kinds of drugs, including immunosuppressants and aciclovir have been used in treatment, but effectiveness is variable.
OBJECTIVES: To demonstrate the efficacy of famciclovir, an antiviral compound that acts against HSV, varicella-zoster virus and hepatitis B virus, in a murine model of BD.
METHODS: Using the HSV-induced BD mouse model, famciclovir was administered variously before and after inoculation or from the day of lesion occurrence, with appropriate controls. Ulceration of the mouth and genital skin and eye involvement were monitored. In addition, spleen cytokine expression was measured by polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: Pretreatment and concurrent treatment did not affect the occurrence of BD, but treatment from the appearance of lesions was effective in improving BD and preventing recurrence. After famciclovir, interleukin 2 expression correlated with the recurrence of BD symptoms.
CONCLUSIONS: This model suggests the possible role of immune response to viral infection in the development and activation of BD. The study provides a rationale for clinical trials of famciclovir in the human form of BD.
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