Cytokine Targeting/Immunomodulation Program
Leo A.B. Joosten
Email: [email protected]
The Program’s Goals are to investigate:
• The role of interleukin (IL)-1 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in chronic arthritis and concomitant cartilage destruction. This is investigated by targeting IL-1 and TNF or the use of IL-1/TNF deficient mice. In collaboration with G. Kollias the role of membrane bound TNF and TNF receptor deficiency is examined.
• The role of IL-4 in cartilage and bone destruction. Overexpression of IL-4 in arthritic joints revealed to protect against cartilage and bone destruction. The mechanism of this protection is one of the goals in this project. The role of IL-17 and osteoprotegerin ligand (OPGL) in this pathway is under investigation.
• The relation between gut flora and arthritis expression. There is ample evidence that bacterial infections can lead to arthritis expression. In this program the role of different gut flora is examined on arthritis expression and severity. The immune stimulatory effects of different bacteria will be analyzed.
• Modulation of arthritis by induction of bystander suppression with cartilage derived autoantigens. Nasal tolerance induction with either collagen type II, HC gp-39 or COMP will be studied. The possible role of cytokines during tolerance induction is investigated.
Participating researchers and their projects
Erik Lubberts, PhD
Exploration of the protective effect of interleukin-4 on cartilage and bone destruction.
Marleen Heuvelmans-Jacobs, PhD Student
The role of gut flora on arthritis expression.
Marije Koenders, PhD Student
The role of interleukin-17 in arthritis.
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