The role of immunity is another crucial area under investigation. “The identification of receptors by which DNA can stimulate immune responses would include TLRs and other internal nucleic acid receptors. Major questions in lupus relate to the origin of the anti-DNA response and the ways in which DNA can stimulate immunity. The discovery of the TLRs and other sensors provides insight into how DNA may drive immune responses,” Dr. Schur says. The use of transgenic mice, such as those that express anti-DNA antibodies, have been important to help understand issues of tolerance and defining events such as receptor editing.
You Might Also Like
Explore This IssueJune 2017
Also By This Author
“The identification of cytokines, chemokines, interferon, BAFF, B cells, T cells and other cells of regulating are key steps in lupus. I would include the studies on the interferon signature in this category and the characterization of cytokines, such as BAFF, including mouse models to understand its role,” he says. “These studies have been important in understanding functional immune disturbances contributing to lupus, as well as presenting new targets for therapy.”
The study of epigenetics within lupus also has evolved, Dr. Schur says. Epigenetics has helped pinpoint that smoking and sun exposure are two major things that those with lupus should avoid.
Vanessa Caceres is a medical writer in Bradenton, Fla.