The Clinical Immunology and Allergy Unit is responsible for treating patients with autoimmune and allergic disorders, as well as other pathological conditions of the immune system. Both our senior physicians and residents take part in the treatment of patients in our inpatient unit, and the management and follow-up of patients in the unit's out-patient clinics (allergy clinic, lupus and autoimmunity clinic, clinical immunology clinic). The unit is also responsible for service laboratories, including the clinical immunology laboratory and the allergy laboratory.
Our main research studies focus in autoimmunity, SLE, autoimmune arthritis and the physiology of the allergic response. These studies include:
The Role of Protective Antibodies in Autoimmune Arthritis.
Our studies have shown that resistance to autoimmune arthritis in the rat Adjuvant Arthritis model is due to the presence of protective antibodies. The target antigen for these antibodies has been defined as a short peptide located on the surface of bacterial 65KD heat shock protein. The protective antibodies were able to skew the cytokine network towards the non-inflammatory cytokines. These findings can lead to a new therapeutic approach for human Rheumatoid Arthritis.
The Target Antigen in SLE
The target antigen for lupus antibodies has not been yet defined. We have shown that a short peptide present in the C terminal of laminin is the target for pathogenic SLE antibodies. This has been shown in congenic, transgenic, SCID and lupus mice, as well as in SLE patients. Inhibition of the interaction of these antibodies with the laminin derived peptide suppressed murine lupus kidney disease. The immunoadsorption of the human pathogenic anti-peptide antibodies on a peptide bound sepharose column was shown to delete the serum of the pathogenic antibodies. This approach may lead to a novel and specific therapeutic modality in the human disease.
Pathogenicity of Lupus Antibodies
Anti-DNA antibody pathogenicity has been studied in a new model of immunodeficient mice. The antibodies could be divided into pathogenic and non-pathogenic subgroups. No genetic or immunochemical differences were found between the two anti-DNA subsets. However, they differed in their ability to cross-react with the cytoskelletal protein a-actinin, that is known to play a major role in the structural integrity of glomerular filtration components. These results suggest that tissue injury in SLE may be facilitated by molecular mimicry.
Tolerance Mechanisms in Lupus-Prone Mice
The integrity and breakdown of B cell tolerance in normal and autoimmune mice has been studies in anti-DNA transgenic mice, in which immunoglobulin heavy chain or heavy/light chain combinations have been targeted to the proper chromosomal sites of the mouse by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells. It was found that in normal mice, receptor editing is the major mechanism of B cell tolerance, while clonal anergy serves as a back-up tolerance mechanism. The maintenance and collapse of these mechanisms in transgenic lupus-prone mice are currently under investigation.
The Pathogenesis of the Allergic Response
The physiology and differentiation of mast cells and eosinophils, their response to repeated activation and their function and cytokine production in normal individuals and in various diseases and allergic conditions is studied.
Head Allergy and Clinical Immunology Clinic
Dr. Tal Yuval
Amos Ben-Zvi, M.D., Senior Lecturer in Pediatrics
Dr. Shamriz Oded
Location: Ein Kerem, Main Building, 4th floor
Areas of Activity
Treatment of children and adults suffering from allergic rhinitis, asthma, various allergic skin rashes, disorders of the immune system, different sensitivities such as food sensitivity, insect bites, and allergies to medications.
Location: Ein Kerem, Clinics Building, 8th floor
To schedule an appointment, please phone our Appointments Center on: 02-5842111