“T cells help fight off infection, but they can go overboard. A new study led by researchers at the School of Dental Medicine and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that a subset of T cells contributes to the problematic inflammation and bone loss that is associated with periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease.
The research, conducted with the help of animal models and a group of human patients with a rare genetic mutation, point to a new target for treating periodontitis, as well as other diseases involving the inappropriate response of this group of T cells, known as Th17 cells. These include autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. The work appears in Science Translational Medicine.”
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