Research ArticleAutoimmunity

Antibody blockade of IL-15 signaling has the potential to durably reverse vitiligo

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Science Translational Medicine  18 Jul 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 450, eaam7710
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aam7710

Forcing memory T cells to forget

In vitiligo, autoreactive T cells attack melanocytes, leading to white spots on the skin. Depigmentation typically recurs upon cessation of treatment, so new therapies are needed for permanent patient relief. Richmond and colleagues reasoned that targeting tissue-resident memory T cells may allow for durable therapy. They observed that T cells from patient lesional samples expressed the receptor for IL-15, an important survival cytokine. T cells in a mouse model of vitiligo also expressed the IL-15 receptor, and blocking IL-15 signaling with an antibody was able to reverse disease symptoms. A clinical trial to test this therapy is now in the works.

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