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Journal of Immunology cover highlights work of Laura Mandik-Nayak on rheumatoid arthritis

Lankenau Medical Center February 24, 2014 Research News

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).

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.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health's commitment—to deliver advanced medicine for treating and curing disease, playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to be the region's premier choice for clinical care, research, and education. A team of more than 10,000 employees, 3,000 nurses and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health System.

At Main Line Health's core are four of the region's most 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 Rehabilitation Hospital.

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Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care, and service, including U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, System Magnet® designation; the nation's highest distinction for nursing excellence and the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect, equity, and inclusion, has proudly received awards in this area and has embraced the American Hospital Association's #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education, and research to help patients stay healthy and live their best lives.

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About Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is a nonprofit biomedical research institute located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center and is part of Main Line Health. Founded in 1927, LIMR's mission is to improve human health and well-being. Faculty and staff are devoted to advancing innovative new approaches to formidable medical challenges, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders and autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis. LIMR's principal investigators conduct basic, preclinical and translational research, using their findings to explore ways to improve disease detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. They are committed to extending the boundaries of human health through technology transfer and training of the next generation of scientists and physicians.