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Main research topic

The peak incidence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in women coincides with the time of menopause and RA is highly associated with development of osteoporosis. Treatment with estrogen is beneficial both by reducing inflammation and protecting against bone loss in RA, but it is not recommended as therapy due to severe side effects. The immunological mechanisms underlying both positive and negative effects of estrogen in RA therapy are unclear, and defining them would provide opportunities to develop new and better RA therapies free from unwanted side effects associated with estrogen treatment.

Th17 cells are involved in the pathogenesis of both arthritis and osteoporosis. Still, the effects of estrogen on Th17 cells are largely unknown. However, recent studies from Ulrika Islanders research group strongly support involvement of Th17 cells in the RA-reducing effects of estrogen. She has published papers describing reduced migration of Th17 cells out from lymph nodes as a potential novel mechanism involved in estrogen-mediated inhibition of arthritis. She is now focusing her research on defining if interactions between Th17 cells and specific lymph node stromal cells are involved in this mechanism.


Ulrika Islander

Sidansvarig: kommunikation@medicine.gu.se|Sidan uppdaterades: 2017-05-31

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