Polyfunctional-T "" stromal cell crosstalk in the joint of patients with inflammatory arthritis

Over a million people in Ireland alone, with inflammatory arthritis and other autoimmune diseases know only too well the frustration of the trial-and-error approach in finding the right treatment. In many cases this entails enduring chronic pain over several years, before a successful drug is stumbled upon. Therefore, there are areas that require improvement, including, identification of individuals at risk of arthritis, better patient stratification("grouping"), novel therapies and refinement of existing ones. Importantly, in order to meet these key goals, a collaborative approach is required. Polyfunctional T-cells (Poly-T cells), are newly described highly inflammatory immune cells and one of the main "˜culprits' in the joint inflammation associated with arthritis. We know already that poly-T cells under the "˜wrong' environmental circumstances can make joint inflammation a lot worse and more prolonged. I have recently identified that poly-T cells are present in the joint prior to the development of clinical inflammation and correlate with worsening disease. Despite their importance, we still don't know how they get to the joint or how they interact with other non-immune cells in order to drive synovial damage. Describing the factors that lead T cells to the joint will enable better patient stratification and minimise the need for trial-and-error therapies, while, identifying key cell-cell interactions in the joint will lead to more targeted therapies. By combining novel approaches from several fields of cutting-edge research and in close collaboration with clinical and patient partners, this study aims to determine the unique environment in which poly-T-cells operate, and unlock the illusive "˜key' which will help us to strategically target them. This study will bring us closer to administering the right therapy at the right time. Cracking the poly-T-cell code will lead to significant advances in the field of immunology and clinical practice.

Award Date
30 June 2022
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Achilleas Floudas
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
Emerging Investigator Awards 2022