Joint Center for Research on Immunoregulation of Autoimmunity and Transplantation

Research project
Immunoregulation of B and T cell function in inflammatory and autoimmune disorders

Department of Medicine, Prof. Naparstek Yaakov, Prof. Ilan Yaron

Hebrew University: Y. Bergman, M. Baniyash, D. Naor

The immune system is responsible for a major part of the defense against potentially harmful agents. However, this system may turn against self antigens and induce autoimmune disorders including systemic diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus or target organ autoimmune disease such as inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis etc. Unwanted immune reactions are also involved in the pathogenesis of target organ damage in several infectious and malignant disorders, as well as in post-transplantation organ rejection.

Overcoming the immune response tends to involve generalized immunosuppression which can often lead to undesirable side effects. The overall objective of the research center is to study mechanisms involved in immunoregulation of autoimmunity and transplantation and to develop new therapeutic regimens for immune-mediated disorders. In the present studies we focus on immunoregulation of B and T cell function in inflammatory and autoimmune disorders: A. Regulatory mechanisms of B-cell induced autoimmunity and B. Regulatory mechanisms of T-cell modulation in inflammation.

The overall project includes three parts: In the first part, the regulatory immune mechanisms in normal mice and in autoimmune disorders are evaluated. In the second part, the regulatory mechanisms of T-cell modulation in inflammation are determined. In the third part, we will explore several immunomodulatory methods for treatment of immune-mediated disorders.

Optimization and analysis of the novel tolerization procedures proposed in our studies, is expected to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the immune-mediated disorders and the induced tolerance. The results are expected to have an impact on several conditions where down regulation of immune response or induction of immune ignorance are required.