The group led by Professor Tatsushi Muta, Graduate School of Life Sciences at Tohoku University, in cooperation with Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Riken, and Osaka University, has shown in clinical studies that mice lacking the transcriptional regulator IκB-ζ transcription regulator spontaneously develop chronic inflammation similar to the autoimmune disease Sjogren's Syndrome in humans and established that cell death in the epithelial cells of the lacrimal gland is the cause of this chronic inflammation. This study has also shown that the chronic inflammation can be treated with drugs to inhibit cell death.
This research has been lauded as bringing a new view into the elucidation of the mechanism of pathogenesis in tissue specific autoimmune disorders as Sjogren's Syndrome and its treatment. The results of this research were published in the online edition of the American medical journal Immunity on February 28, 2013. The paper's title is "Enhanced Apoptosis by Disruption of the STAT3-IκB-ζ Signaling Pathway in Epithelial Cells Induces Sjögren's Syndrome-like Autoimmune Disease."
Professor Tatsushi Muta
Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University
E-mail: tmuta*biology.tohoku.ac.jp (Replace * with @)