Novel therapies for memory cells in autoimmune diseases

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Autoimmune diseases are a major cause of morbidity, and their incidence and prevalence continue to rise. Treatments for these diseases are non-specific and result in significant adverse effects. Targeted therapies may help in improving the risk : benefit ratio associated with treatment. Immunological memory is an important feature of the vertebrate immune system that results in the production of cells that are long-lived and able to respond to antigens in a more robust manner. In the setting of autoimmunity this characteristic becomes detrimental due to the ongoing response to a self-antigen(s). These memory cells have been shown to play key roles in various autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and psoriasis. Memory T cells and B cells can be identified based on various molecules expressed on their surface. Memory T cells can be divided into three main categories - central memory, effector memory and resident memory cells. These subsets have different proliferative potential and cytokine-producing abilities. Utilizing differentially expressed surface molecules or downstream signalling pathway proteins in these cells it is now possible to target memory cells while sparing naive cells. We will discuss the various available options for such a strategy and several potential strategies that may yield successful therapies in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-360
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Autoimmune disease
  • Immunological memory
  • Memory B cell
  • Memory T cell
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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