Female MRL/lpr mice were treated with I.P. doses of methotrexate (MTX) and 10-deazaaminopterin (DAAM) in the range of 1 to 100 mg/kg body weight/week, in two equally divided doses. Treatment began at 7 weeks of age and continued to 30 weeks of age. Joint histopathology scores were tightly correlated with skin lesion-proteinuria scores at 30 weeks of age. MTX at levels of 5, 25, and 100 mg/kg body weight/week and DAAM at a level of 25 mg/kg body weight/week significantly reduced skin lesion-proteinuria scores below controls in a dose dependent manner. Animals receiving MTX at 25 mg/kg body weight/week had a significantly longer median life span and animals receiving MTX at 100 mg/kg body weight/week had a greater than 15% suppression of growth when compared with cottrols. Longevity and skin lesion-proteinuria scores appeared to be good indicators of drug efficacy while growth suppression appeared to be a good indicator of drug toxicity. © 1992 Birkhäuser Verlag.