Research could lead to future treatment advancements for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases
A major finding by researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology (LIAI) has identified a previously unknown cellular mechanism that acts as an off switch for immune system function. The discovery could lead to the future development of new treatments for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and Crohns disease.
In autoimmune diseases, the immune system, which normally wards off invading viruses and bacteria, instead mistakenly attacks normal body tissues, leading to illness. "By understanding this cellular process for turning off immune system activity, we are hopeful this will lead to new treatments that will stop unwanted immune responses, such as those which occur in autoimmune diseases," said LIAI scientist Carl Ware, Ph.D., who co-led the study with LIAI researcher Chris Benedict, Ph.D. The research team also involved scientists from Rush Medical Center and Northwestern University in Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis.
Bonnie Ward | EurekAlert!
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