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How Inflammatory Cells Function Setting Stage for Future Remedies

A research team led by investigators at New York University and NYU School of Medicine has determined how cells that cause inflammatory ailments, such as Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis, differentiate from stem cells and ultimately affect the clinical outcome of these diseases.

“We’ve found that hundreds of new genes are involved in the function and development of these cells,” said co-author Richard Bonneau, an associate professor at New York University’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. “This expansion in our understanding can be used as a framework for designing new therapies to combat a range of ailments where the immune system attacks self.”

These cells, called T-cells by immunologists, play a role in fighting off infection, but can also induce inflammation and other processes that damage tissues and contribute to several common inflammatory diseases. T-cells are also key cell types in new immune-cell based therapies for fighting cancer. There are many types of T-cells, and how they differentiate from stem cells in the human body lies at the center of understanding several diseases.

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