Research Lines

Research Lines

The following sections summarize the main areas being developed by the IRT group.

Our group studies the modulation of the immune system for therapeutic purposes in autoimmunity and transplantation.

Use of tolerogenic dendritic cells (DCs) to restore tolerance in autoimmunity

It is now clear that DCs can be not only immunogenic but also tolerogenic. In particular, immature and semi-mature DCs have been found to have tolerogenic properties, and to induce regulatory CD4+ T cells (Treg and Tr1). In this context, we demonstrated the capacity of tolerogenic DCs to reduce the severity of autoimmunity in the collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Briefly, we generated short-term lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated DCs pulsed with type II collagen (CII) [+]

Identification of immunodominant epitopes in autoimmune diseases

This research line is aimed at identify and characterize immunodominant T cell epitopes that elicit immune responses associated to different autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. This challenge will be accomplished through the isolation of a great number of peptides that are being presented to auto-reactive T cells by MHC molecules displayed in the surface of antigen presenting cells. [+]

Role of B cells in autoimmunity and tolerance induction

It is now becoming increasingly accepted that B cells are not just the precursors of antibody-secreting cells, but also participate in the immune homeostasis by performing several diverse functions that range from antigen presentation to immune tolerance. In this sense, an IL-10-producing regulatory B cell population (Breg) has been described, which confers protection against experimental autoimmunity. Bregs have been recently discovered in humans, sharing most of the functions reported for murine Bregs. Moreover, functional defects in this Breg population have been observed in patients with autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematous. [+]

Cytokine-blocking therapies for autoimmune diseases

This research line is aimed at elucidating the mechanisms involved in the clinical success demonstrated by biological therapies, such as cytokine-blocking antibodies or soluble receptors, in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. [+]

Transplantation Immunology

The induction of tolerance to an allograft has been the goal of transplantation immunologists for decades. Such a success would allow for the long-term acceptance of foreign cells, tissues and organs without the need for long-term use of immunosuppressive drugs. While very effective in the management of acute rejection, these drugs are associated with significant morbidities and have had little impact on chronic rejection and long-term graft survival. [+]

Support and Links

Conicyt Fondef D09I1190 Fondecyt Instituto de Ciencias Biomedicas Millennium Institute on Immunology and ImmunotherapyPubMed
Sociedad Chilena de reumatología