Mechanisms of topical calcipotriol mediated tolerance induction

Autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, lupus, and multiple sclerosis are a serious health issue in North America, affecting more than 22 million people in the US alone. Unfortunately, current treatment options for individuals suffering from autoimmunity are limited, and patients are often faced with the prospect of life-long drug regimens designed to suppress their immune systems. While effectively managing autoimmune diseases, these drugs can also hamper the body’s ability to defend itself against infection and cancer, substantially reducing a patient’s quality of life. T regulatory cells (Tregs) are a class of immune cell that prevent the immune system from attacking the body. Because Tregs can prevent autoimmune disease, many attempts have been made at designing methods to generate them. As of yet, no practical and reliable means of producing Tregs has been achieved. Previous research demonstrates that Vitamin D may play a role in the Treg production process. Paxton Bach is investigating whether applying Vitamin D to the skin can be used to generate Tregs, and early results are promising. Ultimately, this research could lead to more effective, less invasive treatments for individuals living with autoimmune diseases around the world.