Targeting a novel population of innate-like CD8+ Treg in lupus
Like any complex system, the human immune system has built-in components to regulate its activity. Among the most key components are T regulatory cells, often called Treg cells, which function to tame overblown inflammation. Dr. Kumar and his lab have discovered a new type of Treg cell; when these cells are injected into or activated in mice, inflammation is reduced. They hypothesize that this type of Treg is deficient or defective in mouse models of lupus, and could be why inflammation can go unchecked in these mice. With support from the Lupus Research Alliance, Dr. Kumar will grow and activate this cell type in hopes of reducing inflammation and kidney disease in lupus.
What this study means for people with lupus
If a subset of T regulatory cells, or Treg cells, can help control kidney disease, activating them might be a promising therapeutic approach.