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

Generation of antigen-specific T regulatory cells in TCR transgenic mice to prevent the collagen-induced arthritis

Song Guo Zheng, M.D.
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
The objective of Dr. Zheng’s project was to develop therapy for RA that is effective, but without significant toxicity. RA and the other autoimmune diseases are disorders of immune regulation. All individuals have potentially harmful self-reactive T cells that are normally held in check by immune “policeman” called T regulatory (Tr) cells. It is believed that RA patients lack sufficient Tr cells to suppress the inflammation in affected joints.

Dr. Zheng’s laboratory has developed the ability to induce T cells to develop strong suppressive activity ex-vivo (outside the body) and have acquired evidence from animal models that that these cells can block immune-mediated inflammation in vivo (in the body) when transferred back to the animals. The success of this project may increase the possibility that Tr cells induced ex-vivo can also be used to treat RA patients.

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