About a year and a half ago, the research team won a Rheumatology Research Foundation disease targeted research pilot grant for the start of a study involving rheumatoid arthritis subjects—the first time the cells have been studied in a human autoimmune disease, Dr. Moody said. Their hypothesis is that CD1a might be expressed on some sort of cell in the synovium, and that, possibly, CD1a autoreactive cells penetrate to the joint. They also wanted to look at the role of IL-22. They found CD1a is present in the synovium, although a more detailed phenotype is still being developed.
You Might Also Like
Explore This IssueSeptember 2014
Also By This Author
They also found that four of six adult RA subjects had demonstrably increased levels of IL-22 in the joint.
They’ve also looked at juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) patients, and found “hugely elevated” levels of IL-22 in the joints of nine of the first 10 JIA patients. He stressed that this needs to be looked at more thoroughly, but that so far the data are “very encouraging” that this is a worthy line of inquiry.
“We don’t have the whole model yet,” Dr. Moody said. “This is very much a work in progress, but we have evidence for CD1a for CD1a autoreactive T cells and interleukin 22 in the joints of these patients.”
Thomas R. Collins is a freelance medical writer based in Florida.
- Ioan-Facsinay A, Kwekkeboom JC, Westhoff S, et al. Adipocyte-derived lipids modulate CD4+ T-cell function. Eur J Immunol. 2013 Jun;43(6):1578–1587.
- Moody DB, Young DC, Cheng TY, et al. T cell activation by lipopeptide antigens. Science. 2004 Jan 23;303(5657):527–531.
- de Jong A, Peña-Cruz V, Cheng TY, et al. CD1a-autoreactive T cells are a normal component of the human alphabeta T cell repertoire. Nat Immunol. 2010 Dec;11(12):1102–1109.