A new study has found that some cells that contribute to immune system health may show signs of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, according to findings published in the journal Nature Immunology.
In an effort to gain a better understanding of how the body prevents the diseases, researchers examined altered TACI, which is a protein that activates immune cells in human tissues. The team also analyzed a protein called MyD88 that alerts the immune system of bacteria detection.
By learning more about the function of these two compounds, further studies will lead to advancements in preventing autoimmune disorders. Also, researchers may be able to discover treatments that benefit people who have been diagnosed with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Andrea Cerutti, lead author of the study, stated that these results will help target “the signaling pathway between TACI and MyD88, to block the overreaction of the immune system and tissue damage in individuals with autoimmune disorders.” She added that inhibiting “the interaction between TACI and MyD88, [could prevent] autoimmune diseases from progressing with fewer side effects.”
According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, an estimated 23.5 million people in the United States currently have one type of autoimmune disease.