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Examining the Role of T cell Exhaustion in Lupus Pathogenesis

In people with lupus, T cells invade the kidneys and other organs and trigger damage. However, Dr. Tilstra’s team has found that some of these T cells have lost the ability to attack—researchers describe them as “exhausted.” In this project they aim to determine whether the cells wear out before or after they enter the […] Read More

Epigenetic Regulation of Il2 by ATF7ip – Implications for SLE

Interleukin-2, which is mostly made by the immune cells called T cells, seems to calm the immune system and has shown promise as a lupus treatment. We have discovered in mice that another protein known as ATF7ip reduces T cells’ production of interleukin-2. Dr. Waterfield’s new study will identify molecules that partner with ATF7ip in […] Read More

Age-Associated B cells in Autoimmune Lupus

While lupus and aging seem very different, they have one thing in common. Cells called age-associated B cells are prevalent in older people and people of any age who have lupus. Age-associated B cells may be the ancestors of the B cells that damage patients’ tissues in lupus. Dr. Nickerson and his group will track […] Read More

Lymphatic Regulation and Photosensitivity

For some patients with lupus, exposure to the sun—or even certain kinds of indoor lighting — can trigger skin inflammation, joint pain, fever, and other symptoms. The lymphatic system, a network of tubes that transports fluid and cells throughout the body, normally limits inflammation and swelling. However, patients with lupus have high levels of type […] Read More

Ferroptosis as a novel driver of inflammation in lupus nephritis

Lupus nephritis occurs because the kidneys become inflamed. In the process, cells of the kidneys can die and look abnormal to the immune system.  Instead of efficiently clearing these dead cells away, the immune system can then react causing inflammation and potentially making the kidney damage even worse. Cells can die in several ways, and […] Read More

Genetically Engineering Regulatory T Cells to Treat SLE

Clinical trials are testing whether increasing the number of regulatory T cells helps people with lupus. One treatment approach being explored involves giving patients large doses of these cells.  But Dr. Ooi and his lab colleagues believe that they can make more effective regulatory T cells that protect specific cells. In lupus, harmful immune cells hone […] Read More

The Role of TLR8 in Lupus Nephritis

Dr. Davidson has discovered that one immune system protein, TLR8, may help foster lupus nephritis, the kidney inflammation that is a leading cause of illness and death in lupus patients. By using lupus-prone animals in which they have introduced the human TLR8 protein, they will investigate whether higher amounts of TLR8 induce inflammation and worsen […] Read More

Dissecting the Effector Function of Pathogenic Tfh Cells in Human Lupus

Immune system cells communicate with each other by releasing chemicals known as cytokines. Dr. Fan and his team have created a microchip that allows us to eavesdrop on immune cells by measuring what cytokines they are producing. They will use this microchip to analyze blood cells from lupus patients. They plan to profile a type […] Read More

BRISC DUB Activity as a Novel Target for Lupus

Dr. Greenberg and his colleagues have discovered that mice that lack a certain cluster of interacting proteins, known as BRISC, don’t develop lupus. Their previous research identified several molecules that block BRISC and might be able to quell lupus symptoms. They now plan to test whether these molecules are beneficial in mice that develop the […] Read More

A Novel Target for Neutrophil NETosis in Lupus Skin Inflammation

Lupus patients develop skin rashes in response to sunlight and other triggers. immune cells called neutrophils promote these lesions by spewing out their DNA. Dr. Liu has discovered that a protein known as ROCK is crucial to this process. She and her team will now test whether blocking ROCK stops neutrophils from releasing their DNA, […] Read More

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