Targeting Neutrophils in Inflammatory Arthritis
Neutrophils are immune cells that migrate into joints during inflammatory arthritis. Studies in mice confirm that neutrophils are absolutely necessary for the normal evolution of arthritis, but little is known about the mechanisms by which neutrophils reach the joint, what they do once they arrive, and how this can be manipulated therapeutically.
Dr. Nigrovic has found that a particular protein on the surface of mouse neutrophils appears to play a role in this process, since binding of this protein with antibodies blocks arthritis despite the presence of neutrophils in the blood. His current studies focus on the mechanisms by which this protein acts, including its effects on the interaction between neutrophils and platelets. These experiments will help elucidate the mechanisms by which neutrophils reach the inflamed joint, and potentially define a novel mechanism by which neutrophil recruitment can be targeted to treat inflammatory arthritis.