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Treg gene signature as a biomarker for disease activity in JIA
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a chronic autoimmune disease with an unpredictable disease course: 30-50% of children will flare, without warning or obvious trigger. In JIA the immunoregulatory balance is disturbed as a result of dysfunctional FOXP3+CD4+ regulatory T cells (Tregs). Currently, we lack Treg-specific markers and functional experiments are complex and may not represent in vivo activity. Therefore, we have established a clinically-applicable Treg gene signature that reflects Treg “fitness” as a possible biomarker assay. Therefore, we hypothesise that by measuring changes in Treg function with this novel Treg gene signature we may be able to measure and predict disease activity, as well as understand pathways involved in JIA disease activity.
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