Targeting the VISTA Pathway Prevents Fatal Systemic Lupus
In lupus, the immune system mistakenly attacks patients’ own cells. Dr. Noelle’s team discovered a molecule called VISTA that serves as an “off” switch for the immune system and thus might provide a way to quell these attacks. They have found that certain mouse proteins termed antibodies flip the VISTA switch and turn down the immune system in mice. They now want to take the next step toward using VISTA to treat lupus.
What this study means for people with lupus
Dr. Noelle’s group will test whether human antibodies work in mice that carry the human version of VISTA, which will give us a better indication of whether the antibodies will work in lupus patients. They also want to determine how these antibodies affect the immune system.