Chenthamarakshan Vasu, PhD

University of Illinois, Chicago

2011 New Treatments

Chenthamarakshan Vasu, PhDCurrent therapies for lupus are largely ineffective and pose an increased risk for serious complications such as infections.

Considering that people with the disease produce abnormal antibodies that target tissues and organs within the body, a more effective treatment approach might involve inactivating cells that produce (or help produce) these antibodies (nuclear antigen specific self-reactive B and T cells)—but without altering the ability of the immune system to respond to infections.

Dr. Vasu and colleagues have designed a novel approach to generate production of a large number of the kind of cell that might just be able to pull off this feat: nuclear antigen specific suppressor cells. These suppressor cells are expected to have the ability of selectively inactivating nuclear antigen specific T and B cells, but not immune cells that are against pathogens.

With LRI funding, the team will now test the viability of this strategy for preventing and treating lupus using a mouse model.

Revised April 2011