Role of T Cells in Arthritis
The importance of the cytokine, IL-17, in autoimmune diseases has led to numerous studies investigating the development of the cytokines they produce. Dr. Roark’s project will examine a certain type of cytokine in the collagen-induced arthritis model. The cytokine response will also be characterized qualitatively and quantitatively. Secondly, Dr. Roark will test whether these cells regulate T cell function during the course of arthritis. Her studies will increase the understanding of these specific T cells during an autoimmune disease; ultimately, the effect on other cells may lead to novel therapeutic options for controlling the disease.