Non-canonical Autophagy, Phagocytosis, and SLE
SLE may be caused in part by a failure to properly dispose of cells that die in our bodies every day. Dr. Green and team have found a process they call LAP that functions in the disposal of dying cells that are eaten by macrophages. Mice that have macrophage defects in LAP develop lupus-like disease with age. Dr. Green’s team will study how LAP serves to prevent disease and develop ways to restore the control of autoimmunity to cells and animals with these defects. This will pave the way to novel treatment strategies for SLE.
What this study means for people with lupus
Dr. Green will investigate whether a new pathway he and his team discovered that safely disposes of dead cells goes awry in lupus, causing the immune system to attack the body’s cells and tissues. His team will apply their innovative approach to the treatment of lupus in animal models, which will lead the way to new strategies for treating lupus in patients.