RA Pathogenesis studied in mice
Studies of the roles of IL-23 and IL-22 in arthritogenic Th17 cell responses and the pathogenesis of autoimmune arthritis
The immune system mounts protective responses to clear invading pathogens. In autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, the body attacks self-tissues. Dr. Yang reports that two pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-23 and IL-22, have been implicated in both a protective and pathogenic role, making it unclear whether the production of these cytokines ameliorates or contributes to joint disease.
To understand the nature of the cellular responses underlying the development of rheumatoid arthritis, Dr. Yang will perform an in-depth examination of IL-23 and IL-22 in a mouse model of RA. These studies will elucidate the functions of these cytokines in autoimmune arthritis, as well as help to develop new therapies to treat RA.