CAR-T Cells in Mice Models with Lupus
CAR-T therapy is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for certain types of cancers and works by targeting a specific area on an immune B cell. In people with lupus, B cells can produce autoantibodies which cause inflammation and tissue damage. Some researchers think that depleting and destroying B cells may help patients with lupus.
In a small study conducted at the University of Tennessee, researchers investigated if CAR-T cell therapy could treat mice that showed signs of lupus. The researchers removed and isolated T cells from two different mice models and then engineered the cells into a new cell called chimeric antigen receptors, or CARs. CAR-T cells were infused back into the mice. The results showed that CAR-T cells depleted B cells and autoantibodies and lessened several manifestations of lupus; the cells continued to be effective for up to a year. The results are hopeful however, the study was exploratory and much more research needs to be done prior to CAR-T studies occurring in people with lupus. Continue to follow the Lupus Foundation of America for updates regarding CAR-T therapy and lupus. Learn about treatments being studied for lupus.