Journal of Immunology Cover Highlights Work of Laura Mandik-Nayak on Rheumatoid Arthritis

Monday, February 24, 2014

LIMR Associate Professor Laura Mandik-Nayak’s research on the enzyme IDO2 and its role in Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was selected for the cover of March’s Journal of Immunology. The publication behind the image, entitled “IDO2 Is a Critical Mediator of Autoantibody Production and Inflammatory Pathogenesis in a Mouse Model of Autoimmune Arthritis,” provides support for the theory that IDO2 expression is crucial for the development of RA.

IDO1 and its variant, IDO2 are called immunomodulatory enzymes. These types of proteins affect the type or “flavor” of inflammatory response, allowing disease to take hold in the body. The IDO family has been shown by another LIMR research group to suppress the immune system during cancer growth. Altered IDO1 and IDO2 activity has also been associated with autoimmune disorders such as Rheumatoid arthritis. However, it has not been made clear how they contribute to the disease and its symptoms.

Dr. Mandik-Nayak’s group examined both IDO1 and IDO2 in relation to autoimmune arthritis development in the hopes of finding that connection. Their work reveals that IDO2, but not IDO1, is an important component of developing arthritic symptoms like inflammation and autoantibody production. They found that IDO2 drives the autoreactive T and B cell response leading to arthritis. The enzyme appears to specifically affect the production of autoantibodies, but does not seem to play a role in mediating antibody responses in general.

“The results from these studies provide the first direct evidence of a pathogenic role for IDO2 in driving B cell-mediated autoimmune disease,” Dr. Mandik-Nayak states. “Together, our data suggest that IDO2 is a potential new target molecule for the development of new therapies to treat RA and other autoantibody-mediated autoimmune diseases.”

This work was supported by National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases/National Institutes of Health Grant 5-R01 AR057847 (to LM-N).

About Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Founded in 1927, the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research center located in suburban Philadelphia on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center. Part of Main Line Health, LIMR is one of the few freestanding, hospital associated medical research centers in the nation. The faculty and staff at the Institute are dedicated to advancing an understanding of the causes of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and autoimmune disorders. This information is used to help improve diagnosis and treatment of these diseases as well as find ways to prevent them. LIMR is also committed to extending the boundaries of human health and well-being through technology development and the training of the next generation of scientists and physicians. To learn about LIMR, visit

About MLH

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health (MLH) is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. At its core are four of the region’s respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s premier facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital; Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; and Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, a home health service. Main Line Health also consists of Main Line HealthCare, one of the region’s largest multi-specialty physician networks, and the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a non-profit biomedical research organization located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center. Main Line Health also consists of four outpatient health centers located in Broomall, Collegeville, Exton and Newtown Square. Main Line Health hospitals, with more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians, are the recipients of numerous awards for quality care and service, including recognition among Truven Health Analytics’ list of Top 100 Hospitals and top 20 percent of health systems in the nation, and Magnet®, the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence. Main Line Health is among the area’s leaders in medicine, providing advanced patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.

The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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