Cell therapies for rheumatic diseases – targeting the cause
Why is there still no cure for rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus and many others? In this recent review article published in Nature Reviews Rheumatology, scientists from the Leibniz Institute Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin, the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Technische Universität Berlin discuss that current therapies effectively suppress the symptoms, but they do not target the cells driving the rheumatic inflammations.
Such cells have been identified for the first time in recent years. They are cells of the immune system that adapt to the inflammation and they are the cause of the inflammation turning into a chronic disease. These cells include plasma cells that produce autoantibodies and T lymphocytes that fuel inflammation. Initial insights into the lifestyle of these cells allow to develop new therapies that selectively switch off these cells. In doint so, they treat the cause of rheumatic disease and restore the immune system’s tolerance to its own body.