Targeting regulatory T cells in systemic sclerosis
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare disease of unknown cause. There is currently no cure available. SSc leads to progressive destruction of several organs, including the skin, lungs, heart, and digestive system, and may result in premature death.
SSc is characterized by an activation of the body’s own defense system (immune system) against healthy tissue. This indicates a defect in mechanisms instructing the immune system to be tolerant towards self-tissue.
As regulatory T (Treg) cells are crucial to such mechanisms of tolerance, we propose to study Treg cells in SSc patients and models, in order to assess whether Treg cell-targeted treatments might improve SSc.