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Shaun Jackson MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Seattle Children’s Hospital

B cell-Intrinsic Cytokine Reg of Spontaneous Germinal CTR Formation in SLE

B cells usually protect us from bacteria and viruses, but in lupus they release proteins, known as antibodies, that target patients’ own cells. Researchers don’t know which immune system molecules spur B cells to start making these destructive antibodies. In their study, they will use mice to test whether specific immune system molecules, called cytokines, activate B cells to promote production of these antibodies. By identifying the specific signals that trigger B cells to attack patients’ own cells, they hope to provide clues that will allow researchers to develop new, targeted lupus treatments.


What this study means to people with lupus

In lupus, B cells release proteins that damage patients’ own tissues. Dr. Jackson and her colleagues are taking a fresh look at B cells, zeroing in on two recently identified molecules that may act as signals to promote immune attacks. Identifying the specific signals responsible for activating B cells and producing dangerous autoantibodies will inform development of potential targeted lupus treatments.


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