Rôle des cellules souches dans l'immunopathologie de la polyarthrite rhumatoïde


Ines Colmegna

Centre universitaire de santé McGill


Domaine : appareil locomoteur et arthrite

Programme chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Junior 2

Concours 2014-2015

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease that affects over 275,000 Canadians. RA impacts the patient's quality of life and emotional health, reduces the work productivity, increases resource utilization and most importantly decreases life expectancy. Although the ultimate cause of RA is unknown, abnormalities in the function of immune system play a major role in the onset and perpetuation of the disease. Immune cells from patients with RA have defects that resemble those seen in elderly healthy individuals. Our program aims at evaluating a potential cause of the premature immune aging in RA by characterizing their progenitor cells (stem cells).

We study two types of stem cells: (A) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, which generate all the cells of the immune system, and (B) mesenchymal stem cells, which generate bone and cartilage cells, support HSPC and modulate virtually all the cells of the immune system. We propose that defects in these cells promote immune dysfunction and thus improving their function could benefit RA patients. We will test this by comparing the function of stem cells from RA patients and controls, studying specific mechanisms involved in the maintenance of DNA structure and evaluating the effect of one of the most commonly used drugs for the treatment of RA (methotrexate) on stem cells. The proposed program will provide insights into the mechanisms of RA and can inform on new treatment approaches for people living with this condition.