2005 General Immune System Function
With LRI funding, Dr. Daniel H. Kaplan set out to engineer a lupus-prone strain of mice that lacks a recently identified cell-the Plasmacytoid Dendritic cell-that is the primary source of interferon alpha early in infection, and that has recently been implicated in the development and promotion of lupus.
By developing a strain of mice that lacks this cell type and observing whether the development of lupus is attenuated, Dr. Kaplan's work could lead to more refined lupus treatments.
Subsequent Publication 2010
Dr. Kaplan was still working at Yale University when he showed that mice didn't develop skin lupus when they were bred lacking certain dendritic cells in the outer layer of the skin (Langerhans cells). His findings were part of a series of related discoveries published in the December 16th issue of Immunity that point to a localized role for dendritic cells in causing lupus tissue damage.
Dendritic cells in lupus are not required for activation of T and B cells but promote their expansion, resulting in tissue damage. Teichmann LL, Ols ML, Kashgarian M, Reizis B, Kaplan DH, Shlomchik MJ. Immunity. 2010 Dec 14;33(6):967-78.