The following is a description of a study from one of the many researchers that our organization has funded.

Effects of BAFF and APRIL Blockade on B cells in Murine Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Meera Ramanujam, Ph.D.
Columbia University
New York, New York
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which B lymphocytes make autoantibodies that deposit in the kidney and may lead to kidney damage. Another major complication in lupus patients is a clotting tendency associated with development of antiphospholipid antibodies.

Dr. Ramanujam plans to study the mechanism of blocking a molecule termed BAFF thought to be overexpressed in lupus patients. Her preliminary experiments have shown that blocking BAFF prevents blood clots in mice that spontaneously develop lupus. Her ANRF project will focus on determining whether these soluable BAFF blockers can be used as a therapy for antiphospholipid syndrome. (Blockade of BAFF is a strategy that is already being used to treat patients in clinical trials of SLE.)

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