Hello, this is Marko Radic, I am an associate professor at
the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis,
Tennessee, USA and I will be talking to you about
the potential of CAR T-cells for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
I think this is something that will appeal to
a broad range of interests, in both basic and applied medicine.
The outline of my talk is to define autoimmune diseases and touch upon their mechanisms,
then to describe to you a disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE for short).
I will talk about strategies for B-cell depletion,
then I will introduce you to the topic of
chimeric antigen receptors (or CARs) and their structure and function.
I will talk to you about the MRL/lpr mouse model for lupus,
then I will describe the experiments that we did to
test CD19-targeted CARs in lupus mice.
I will present data for that from the Radic laboratory.
I will also talk to you about potential applications of the CD19 CAR in
other autoimmune diseases, and I will summarize
future perspectives and devise ways forward.
Autoimmune diseases affect quite
a large number of individuals in the overall population,
it's estimated that at least 1 in 13 individuals
(more than seven percent of people at large) suffer from an autoimmune disorder.
Autoimmune diseases are defined as a disorder that
is usually chronic, and in which any component of the immune system
(that normally protects us from infection) mistakenly attacks the host body.
There are diverse diseases and each has a unique mechanism,
those mechanisms may include:
B-cells that produce autoantibodies;
T-cells, which can attack or stimulate other cells in the body,
but mostly act through a cytotoxic mechanism;
to various degrees the innate immune system is also involved,
which can cause inflammation or inappropriate coagulation.