Brian Skaggs, Ph.D.

Brian Skaggs, Ph.D.


T Cells: Using Your Own Cells to Fight Lupus
Brian Skaggs, Ph.D.

University of California
Los Angeles, CA
Understanding the crosstalk between TGFß and Foxp3 in regulatory T cells of systemic lupus erythematosus-prone mice

Antibodies produced by immune cells in lupus patients inappropriately bind to many different self-molecules, leading to the tissue destruction throughout the body seen in the disease. Patients and researchers are, not surprisingly, frustrated that there has not been a new FDA-approved lupus therapy regimen in over thirty years. This underscores the urgent need for new, innovative lupus therapies.

Recent work by many labs, including Dr. Skaggs’ lab, has demonstrated that a particular immune cell, the regulatory T cell, can be activated by multiple mechanisms to attack the autoimmune cells that cause lupus and render them ineffective. These exciting studies are tempered by our lack of understanding as to how we could manipulate these “good” immune cells to destroy the “bad” autoimmune cells. Dr. Skaggs’ laboratory has identified a novel way to turn on the “good” regulatory T cells in a mouse model of lupus. He will study how regulatory T cells work by deciphering the intracellular networks necessary to activate these cells. Regulatory T cells have the potential to be a novel, safe method of controlling, and hopefully curing, lupus and other autoimmune diseases.

Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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