Programme(s) to which this project applies:
|☑ MPhil/PhD||☒ MRes[Med]||☒ URIS|
Primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) is characterised by the major clinical manifestations of xerostomia (dry mouth) and xerophthalmia (dry eyes). Emerging evidence has suggested that prolonged T and B cell hyperactivation leads to systemic complications and severe malignancies. However, the roles of specific T and B cell subsets in the disease pathogenesis remain largely unknown. We have previously established a novel mouse model with experimental Sjögren’s syndrome (ESS), which highly recapitulates the clinical features of human pSS. Our recent studies have demonstrated the central roles of interleukin (IL)-17-producing Th17 cells, T follicular helper cells, IL-10-producing regulatory B cells and IL-25 in the disease pathogenesis. Using various treatments, we also identified several promising candidates in targeting effector or regulatory immune subsets.
In Chinese medicine, Yin-deficiency has been considered to be the possible mechanism of dryness symptoms, while Yin-nourishing agents have been widely used in treating pSS patients. In this project, we aim to explore the effective compounds of Chinese medicines, with immunomodulatory functions, in treating ESS. Moreover, other mouse models, including type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus will be also applied.
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