Yale University researchers were able to reduce symptoms of lupus in mice by eliminating a key immune system cell and in doing so may have identified a new therapeutic target for a variety of other autoimmune diseases.
The findings, reported in the December 16 issue of the journal Immunity, focused on the role the dendritic cell plays in systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE, a chronic inflammatory disease that affects a variety of parts of the body including skin, joints, blood and kidneys. Dendritic cells are important for initiating the immune response to pathogens but it is unclear what role they play in autoimmune diseases, such as SLE.
A team led by Mark Shlomchik, Professor of Laboratory Medicine and of Immunobiology and senior author of the paper, knocked out dendritic cells in lupus-prone mice and found a dramatic reduction in symptoms of lupus. They also discovered another surprise. Read more>>