“As a pediatric rheumatologist, JIA patients are foremost in my mind,” Dr. Chang says. “Local [resident memory T cell] depletion would be an ideal strategy for patients with RA or JIA who are in remission, but are unable to come off of systemic immunosuppressive medications.”
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Currently, Dr. Chang and colleagues are working on multiple fronts to further investigate resident memory T cells activity and arthritis flares. They are trying to understand how these cells are formed in the joint and how they interact with other cells in the synovium to trigger a flare.
“Most importantly, we are working on developing a more effective way of targeting these cells and how to translate this [approach] into a system that can be used in patients,” Dr. Chang says.
Carina Stanton is a freelance science journalist based in Denver.
- Chang MH, Levescot A, Morris A, et al. Murine model of arthritis flare identifies CD8+ tissue resident memory T cells in recurrent synovitis [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017 Oct;69(suppl 4).
- Chang M, Levescot A, Blaustein R, et al. Persistent synovial resident memory T cells mediate arthritis flares [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019 Oct;71(suppl 10).