Researchers Unlock An Immunity ‘Black Box’


A research team led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital immunologists has revealed a previously unknown immune machinery that goes awry to trigger the inflammatory disease neutrophilic dermatosis. Neutrophilic dermatoses are a heterogeneous group of autoinflammatory skin disorders that include Sweet’s syndrome, pyoderma gangrenosum, and subcorneal pustular dermatosis and may occur with cancers such as leukemia as well as infections or inflammatory bowel disease.

Mapping the biological machinery underlying the disease’s inflammation is important because there are no drugs that specifically target the wide array of similar autoinflammatory diseases. Autoinflammatory diseases occur when the hyperactive innate immune system attacks the body.

Currently, the only treatments for such disorders are strong immunosuppressive drugs that also render patients susceptible to infection.

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