May 14, 2019
Immune cells sneak into the skin and cause inflammation in patients with cutaneous lupus, the form of the disease that affects the skin. Now, Lupus Research Alliance Target Identification in Lupus (TIL) grant recipient Dr. Jillian Richmond of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester and her colleagues have shown that they can curb the symptoms of cutaneous lupus in a mouse model by blocking molecules that draw immune cells into the skin. The scientists just presented their results at the Society for Investigative Dermatology Annual Meeting in Chicago.
Dr. Richmond and her collaborators have created a mouse model for cutaneous lupus. Like people with this form of the disease, the mice have large amounts of certain molecules in their skin that attract immune cells by stimulating a protein called CXCR3 on the cells.
The scientists treated the mice with other antibodies that block CXCR3. These antibodies prevented the skin inflammation in the mice from getting worse. Dr. Richmond and her team next plan to investigate whether the antibodies are potential therapies for people with cutaneous lupus.
“We would not have been able to conduct or present our work without the support of the Lupus Research Alliance, and we are grateful for the opportunity to work on this project through the TIL Award,” commented Dr. Richmond. “We are hopeful that we can identify additional new treatments for both cutaneous and systemic manifestations of lupus as we continue to understand the disease process.”