Genes and Autoantibodies to Diagnose and Treat Sjogren?s Syndrome
Posted Mar 02 2012 7:00pm
Description of Invention: Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is a chronic autoimmune disease of unknown etiology that targets salivary and lacrimal glands and may be accompanied by multi-organ systemic manifestations. To date, no specific diagnostic test has been developed for SS and, as a result, SS is often underdiagnosed and undertreated.
In order to further understand the immunopathology of SS and uncover both therapeutic and diagnostic targets, researchers at NIH compared gene expression profiles of salivary glands with severe inflammation to those with mild or no disease. Results from these studies identified target genes that were further characterized in tissues, serum and in cultured cell populations by real time PCR and protein analyses. Among the most highly expressed SS genes were genes associated with myeloid cells, including members of the mammalian chitinase family. In addition to genes, the researchers have also identified autoantibodies that have increase levels in SS patients. The gene expression levels and autoantibodies identified in the research represent both promising means for diagnosing SS earlier in disease progression as well as therapeutic targets to treat SS.
Diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome
Treatment of Sjögren's syndrome
Advantages: The genes and autoantibodies identified in this technology may lead to one of the first diagnostic tests for Sjögren's syndrome.