B5 Phenotype and function of CD4+ T lymphocytes in autoimmune hepatitis

B5_Nov2016

Principal Investigator:

Dr. med. Christina Weiler-Normann
I. Department of Internal Medicine
University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
Martinistr. 52
20248 Hamburg
Germany
Phone: +49-40-7410-52910
Fax: +49-40-7410-58531
E-Mail: cweiler@uke.de

Participating staff:

Kirsten Aue-Raschka – Study Nurse
Miriam Schakat– Ph.D. Student
Lisa Schulz – Physician

Project description

Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is an immune-mediated inflammatory liver disease that, if left untreated, leads to fibrosis and cirrhosis and its complications. Typically, the treatment consists of cortisone (so-called induction therapy), in parallel, a therapy with a cortisone-sparing drug (often azathioprine) is started, which must be given usually for years, often permanently.

Within the scope of this project we will test the efficacy of infliximab (a drug that suppresses the messenger substance “tumor necrosis factor alpha”) as an induction therapy in AIH in a clinical study. We will investigate whether suppression of inflammation with infliximab (but without cortisone) is effectively possible. In addition, we will continue to study the quality of life and also the cellular immune response for the duration of the alternative therapy and also for 6 months thereafter. If you are interested, please contact us: cweiler@uke.de.

B5 in 60 SecondsVideoarchiv

online seit 25.11.2012

In our previous studies we have shown that inflammatory CD4+ T cells are main drivers in the pathogenesis of AIH. We could demonstrate that T cells isolated out of the peripheral blood as well as out of the liver of AIH patients show an increase of inflammatory mediators.

In order to identify the target antigens of liver-infiltrating CD4+ T cells – that means the molecular target structures of the pathogenic immune response – of AIH patients, antigen specificities of these cells need to be investigated by employing combinatorial peptide libraries in the positional scanning format. This provides on the one hand the possibility of better understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of AIH and on the other hand the opportunity to find potential new therapeutic approaches.

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