Rebeca Hid Cadena: Immune checkpoint pathways in the ageing immune system and their relation to vasculitides
Broadening our understanding of the multiple alterations endured by the immune system while ageing may aid in advancing our knowledge on the development and progression of age-associated autoimmune diseases.
In my thesis I focused on alterations in surface protein expression, especially immune checkpoint molecules, on circulating immune cells of elderly individuals in health and disease. Among other findings, this thesis demonstrated that IC molecule expression by T cells is influenced by both age and sex. In addition, the involvement of IC in vasculitis was emphasized by the presented case report of GCA development following ICI treatment.
Most interestingly, this thesis unveiled an important role for the negative IC VISTA in the immunopathology of large-vessel vasculitis. Further investigation on the role of age, gender and IC molecules is warranted to improve treatment options for patients suffering from vasculitides.