|M.Sc Student||Ghraieb Amal|
|Subject||NKT Cells in Alopecia Areata disease|
|Department||Department of Medicine||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Amos Gilhar|
|Full Thesis text|
Alopecia Areata (AA) is a T cell-dependent autoimmune disorder that selectively attacks hair follicles. In lesions of hair loss, the extent to which different immune cell subsets can promote, inhibit, or reverse autoimmune pathology is incompletely understood.
A humanized mouse model previously showed that the AA lesion process can be recapitulated if healthy-donor PBMCs are first cultured in IL-2 and then injected into autologous scalp-skin xenografts. Using this system, we found that the known Natural Killer T (NKT) cell agonist, α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer), induced IL-10 production by NKT cells while preventing AA lesion development in xenografts. The protective mechanism required both NKT cells and IL-10. Furthermore, a therapeutic effect was observed when hair regrowth occurred in xenograft AA lesions following treatment with either α-GalCer or exogenous IL-10. These findings suggest that the recently described regulatory subset of IL10-producing NKT cells, NKT10 cells, can play a role in prevention and therapy of human AA lesions.
Key words: Immunology, Dermatology, Cytokines.