Rôle des cellules souches dans l'inflammation et l'auto-immunité

 

Ines Colmegna

Institut de recherche du Centre universitaire de santé McGill

 

Domaine : appareil locomoteur et arthrite

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Senior

Concours 2018-2019

One per cent of Canadians - ~60,000 of those living in Quebec - live with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Despite new treatment options, one third of RA patients have uncontrolled inflammation.  Active inflammation impairs the patient's quality of life due to persistent joint swelling and pain (arthritis). In addition, uncontrolled arthritis increases the risk of premature death due to heart disease and infections. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find new treatment options for RA patients.

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) give rise to all other blood and immune cells. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) support the function of HSC in the bone marrow. In addition, MSC can affect other cells of the immune system, leading to a reduced inflammatory response. The key questions that my laboratory is helping to address are:

1.    Do defects in HSC and/or MSC result in uncontrolled inflammation?
2.    Do the HSC and/or MSC in RA patients have abnormal function? If so, is it possible to restore their function?
3.    Can we enhance the MSC's function as a way to treat RA and other chronic inflammatory diseases?  

The answers to these clinically relevant questions will translate into new treatments for RA patients as well as for patients living with other common inflammatory diseases.