T-cell immunology in rheumatic diseases: effector function and TCR diversity at the single cell level

T-cell immunology in rheumatic diseases: effector function and TCR diversity at the single cell level

Although the etiology of autoimmune diseases is unknown, a complex interplay between genetics, environment and epigenetics is proposed to be the cause of self-tolerance failure. In my team, we are interested in the function of T cells in the pathogenesis of two autoimmune diseases: rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM). In these two inflammatory disorders, the strongest genetic risk factor is the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus highlighting the importance of T cells in the pathogenesis. T cells are vital for defending the body against pathogens such as viruses and bacteria whereas, in autoimmune diseases, T cells mistakenly attack our own body. We believe that, by studying T cells at the site of inflammation, we can understand their pathogenic effector function, their antigen specificity and the mechanisms implicated in their migration and retention in the tissue. We also have a specific interest in the subset of cytotoxic CD4+ T cells sharing common effector functions with CD8+ T cells. We use single cell technologies (SmartSeq2 and 10X genomics) in association with conventional cell biology/molecular biology techniques on clinical samples to investigate the diversity of T-cell populations. Our translational research relies on strong collaborations with the Rheumatology Clinic, KI (Prof Ingrid Lundberg´s team) as well as with geneticist/bioinformatics expert (Dr. Lina Diaz-Gallo). Our ambition is to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms driving RA and IIM to improve diagnosis and clinical care.

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Team leader

Karine Chemin

E-mail

karine.chemin@ki.se

Job title

PhD, Assistant Professor

House

L8:04

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Research

Immunology, Inflammation

Disease

Myositis, Rheumatoid arthritis

Competence/titles

T-cells