Inclusion Body Myositis
Our inclusion body myositis research program is focused on achieving a full understanding of the mechanisms of this disease in order to devise rational approaches to therapy. Such approaches may include high-throughput drug discovery screens, which we are using for another inflammatory myopathy dermatomyositis, or other approaches that might be evident only after a fundamental understanding of this disease is achieved.
Our Inclusion Body Myositis Research Projects
We have ongoing research projects that broadly cross a large range of disease mechanisms for inclusion body myositis. Some of our projects make few initial assumptions as to the nature of the disease process (“observation-driven” rather than “hypothesis-driven” research), and others test existing hypotheses. We study both the immunology and the “degenerative” aspects of inclusion body myositis. Below, we discuss projects only for which results have been published in peer-reviewed journals or have been presented in abstracts at major scientific meetings. A number of other projects are ongoing and will be posted after portions of the research are presented in acceptable scientific formats.
Two projects have approached inclusion body myositis in an unbiased manner to examine the large-scale expression of molecules reflecting the activity of genes (gene expression: RNA) and function (proteins) in inclusion body myositis muscle tissue. These are:
- Molecular Profiles of Inflammatory Myopathies: Large scale gene expression microarray studies of inclusion body myositis and other inflammatory myopathy muscle tissue.
- Proteomic Studies of Inflammatory Myopathies: Large scale protein studies of inclusion body myositis muscle using standard and advanced proteomic methods.
Projects that are focused specifically on the nature of the immune response present in inclusion body myositis are:
- Plasma Cells in Muscle in Inclusion Body Myositis and Polymyositis: The identification of plasma cells in inclusion body myositis and polymyositis muscle tissue.
- A Local Antigen Driven Humoral Response is Present in the Inflammatory Myopathies: The identification of an antigen-driven B cell response in inclusion body myositis, polymyositis, and dermatomyositis muscle tissue.
- Myeloid Dendritic Cells in Inclusion Body Myositis and Polymyositis: The study of myeloid dendritic cells in inclusion body myositis.
Projects that are focused specifically on the nature of the “degenerative response” present in inclusion body myositis are:
- Nuclear Membrane Proteins are Present in Rimmed Vacuoles in Inclusion Body Myositis: The study of rimmed vacuoles and their relationship to nuclear pathology in inclusion body myositis.
- Proteomic Studies to Characterize Myodegeneration. Reported only in Abstract format currently.