10:14 AM

Interferons in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

The Rheumatologist interviews Mary K. Crow, MD, physician-in-chief emerita and senior scientist at the HSS Research Institute about Interferons in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. 

“It can be difficult to predict the long-term impact of research at the time it is being performed, but over time, as knowledge of a field grows, that impact can be tremendous,” explained Dr. Crow.

Dr. Crow is the co-author of a review that is part of a series on immunology for rheumatologists launched recently in Arthritis & Rheumatology (A&R).1 In this new installment, Dr. Crow, Mikhail Olferiev, MD, and Kyriakos Kirou, MD, DSc, review advances in interferon (IFN) research related to the pathogenesis and treatment of systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) and other systemic rheumatic diseases.2

“The review identifies many of the investigators who have been critical in defining type I interferon and the impact of interferon research on advances in science and medicine,” explained Dr. Crow. “We review how interferon is induced and regulated, and its impact on host defense against virus infection, as well as its role in the pathophysiology of autoimmune, rheumatic diseases, particularly SLE.

“Understanding the history and progress of science allows us to have a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the diseases that we treat,” said Dr. Crow. “In the case of interferon, it is remarkable how the study of this cytokine family has generated essential knowledge of the role cytokines play in host defense and disease, and the essential aspects of biology that have, over time, led to identification of the type 1 interferon receptor, the [Janus kinase (JAK) signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)] pathway, the interferon-stimulated genes, the interferon regulatory factors and the plasmacytoid dendritic cell as an important cellular source of interferon.

“In addition to describing the trajectory of interferon research and its broad impact on understanding cytokine biology, the review lists many of the therapeutic agents currently in development or approved for treatment of rheumatic diseases that derive from research on the interferon pathway,” Dr. Crow explained.

Read the full article at the-rheumatologist.org.