Gender difference in autoimmune disease explained by newly discovered B cells
Researchers at National Jewish Health have discovered a type of cell that may contribute to autoimmune disease. The findings also suggest why diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis strike women more frequently than men.
The cells, a subset of immune-system B cells, make autoantibodies, which bind to and attack the body's own tissue. The researchers report in the journal Blood, that they found higher levels of these cells in elderly female mice, young and old mice prone to autoimmune disease, and humans with autoimmune diseases. National Jewish Health has applied for a patent for a method to treat autoimmune disease by depleting these cells.
"We believe these cells could be useful in the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases, and may help us understand general mechanisms underlying autoimmunity," said senior author Philippa Marrack, PhD, Professor of Immunology at National Jewish Health and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.... Read More - http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseact ... ageid/1100