Targeting Nicotinic Receptors to Reduce Inflammation Associated With SLE
Chronic, long-term inflammation can damage organs throughout the body, including the brain, in people with lupus. Dr. Mathis has discovered that nicotine, a chemical found in tobacco products, can reduce inflammation; however, nicotine is too toxic overall to be used as a treatment in people with lupus. In this exciting translational project, Dr. Mathis is exploring other, nontoxic molecules that might work like nicotine to heal inflammation, but without causing serious side effects. In addition, she will examine whether this type of therapy can reduce inflammation in the brain and, in turn, eliminate negative behavior changes caused by lupus.
What this study means for people with lupus
Dr. Mathis hopes to identify a new treatment for chronic inflammation in lupus that is safe, highly effective, and free of toxic side effects. Importantly, her Novel Research Grant will show whether reducing inflammation in the brain with such treatments can reverse behavioral symptoms of lupus.