Research ArticleAutoimmunity

Sustained B cell depletion by CD19-targeted CAR T cells is a highly effective treatment for murine lupus

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Science Translational Medicine  06 Mar 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 482, eaav1648
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aav1648

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CAR T cells: Not just for cancer

CD19-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy is revolutionizing treatment for hematologic malignancies. As CD19 is a marker on all B cells, not just malignant ones, Kansal et al. reasoned that CD19-targeted CAR T cells could possibly be used to deplete autoreactive B cells in lupus. They generated CD19-targeted CAR constructs and showed that CD8+ T cells from two different lupus strains could be transfected. Transfer of the CD19-CAR T cells into mice ablated autoantibodies and CD19+ cells. In both models, survival was remarkably extended, and target organs were spared. These exciting results could pave the way for using CD19-targeted T cells to treat patients with lupus.

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