2010-2011
The following is a description of a study from one of the many researchers that our organization has funded.

T Cells: A Novel Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Richard Di Paolo, Ph.D.
St. Louis University
St. Louis, Missouri
Don H. Minassian Memorial Fellow

Adoptively Transferring GPI-specific Regulatory T cells to treat the Effector Phase of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The immune system generates a population of cells known as regulatory T cells. These cells are the immune system’s way of controlling inflammation and preventing the development of various autoimmune diseases. Many scientists are studying regulatory T cells to learn how to use these cells to treat inflammation and autoimmunity.

Dr. Di Paolo will examine whether regulatory T cells can be used to reduce inflammation and disease in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). He has shown that these cells can prevent the development of RA when given before the disease process has begun. In this project, Dr. Di Paolo will investigate whether these T cells can be used as an effective treatment when given after the disease is already in progress. He will also investigate the mechanism(s) used by regulatory T cells to suppress inflammation in the joints. These studies will provide valuable insight into the potential to use regulatory T cells, or drugs that mimic their activity, to treat RA and potentially other autoimmune diseases.

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