T-Cells and Autoimmunity with Dr. Walsh [Part 1]

T-Cells and Autoimmunity with Dr. Walsh [Part 1]

Dr. Walsh, from the University of California, Irvine, sat down with Arthritis Now to discuss t-cells and the immune system and his studies on understanding both and how they affect autoimmune diseases. In the interview, he discusses the monitoring of t-cells, making sure it doesn’t go out of control and cause collateral damage like autoimmune diseases

Whereas his research was more basic before, Dr. Walsh explains that his lab has taken a more holistic approach to understanding autoimmunity in respect to t-cells and the other cells involved in autoimmunity. The biggest relationship he’s discovered has been the interactions between t-cells and the stem cells that are involved in tissue repair, which are determinates on if patients have autoimmune diseases or if they might be diagnosed with one.

He explains that he has a strong focus on Multiple Sclerosis; understanding the basis of how the immune system and t-cells lead to MS and the varying approaches he and his team are taking to try and treat it. According to his work, it’s important to look at repair cells and t-cells in order to not only get rid of the disease, but also to allow for tissues to repair themselves and heal the other associated problems.

Dr. Walsh also discovered a signaling molecule called Drak2, which inhibits inflammatory responses in joints. The molecule is an enzyme important for the regulation of t-cells and plays an important role in inflammation. However, by eliminating its function, the t-cells that cause damage die off. Dr. Walsh’s goal is to understand more about Drak2 and inhibit it with pharamacologically to treat autoimmune diseases.

ANRF
Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation
arthritisresearch@curearthritis.org

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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