Exploring differences in NETosis in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: School of Biological Sciences


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder predominantly affecting women. Importantly the clinical features of this disease are highly heterogeneous which offers the potential for personalised therapies.
Recently it has been identified that neutrophils can extrude their contents through as a neutrophil extracellular trap (NET). These are potent immune system stimulators and may drive the inflammatory process in SLE. Furthermore, difference between when and how NETs form may explain some of the clinical and immunological variation in SLE. This project will explore novel aspects of NET function in patients with SLE. In collaboration with the industrial partner we
will use high throughput fluorescent microscopy to study both NET formation and removal. Variation in NET content and the consequences for downstream immune activity will be identified. Finally the development of high throughput assays
will allow us to screen drug libraries for novel modulators of NET formation and function. We aim to identify novel treatments for SLE along with a robust approach for personalisation of treatment.