Posted on by Lawrence Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Human neurons are long, spindly structures, but if you could zoom in on their surfaces at super-high resolution, you’d see surprisingly large pores. They act as gated channels that open and close for ions and other essential molecules of life to pass in and out the cell. This rapid exchange of ions and other molecules is how neurons communicate, and why we humans can sense, think, move, and respond to the world around us .
Because these gated channels are so essential to neurons, mapping their precise physical structures at high-resolution has profound implications for informing future studies on the brain and nervous system. Good for us in these high-tech times that structural biologists keep getting better at imaging these 3D pores.
In fact, as just published in the journal Nature Communications , a team of NIH-supported scientists imaged the molecular structure of a gated pore of major research interest. The pore is called calcium homeostasis modulator 1 (CALHM1). Pictured below, you can view its 3D structure at near atomic resolution . Keep in mind, this relatively large neuronal pore still measures approximately 50,000 times smaller than the width of a hair.
The structure comes from a research team led by Hiro Furukawa, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY. He and his team relied on cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to produce the first highly precise 3D models of CALHM1.
Cryo-EM involves flash-freezing molecules in liquid ethane and bombarding them with electrons to capture their images with a special camera. When all goes well, cryo-EM can reveal the structure of intricate macromolecular complexes in a matter of weeks.
Furukawa’s team had earlier studied CALHM1 from chickens with cryo-EM , and their latest work reveals that the human version is quite similar. Eight copies of the CALHM1 protein assemble to form the circular channel. Each of the protein subunits has a flexible arm that allows it to reach into the central opening, which the researchers now suspect allows the channels to open and close in a highly controlled manner. The researchers have likened the channels’ eight flexible arms to the arms of an octopus.
The researchers also found that fatty molecules called phospholipids play a critical role in stabilizing and regulating the eight-part channel. They used simulations to demonstrate how pockets in the CALHM1 channel binds this phospholipid over cholesterol to shore up the structure and function properly. Interestingly, these phospholipid molecules are abundant in many healthy foods, such as eggs, lean meats, and seafood.
Researchers knew that an inorganic chemical called ruthenium red can block the function of the CALHM1 channel. They’ve now shown precisely how this works. The structural details indicate that ruthenium red physically lodges in and plugs up the channel.
These details also may be useful in future efforts to develop drugs designed to target and modify the function of these channels in helpful ways. For instance, on our tongues, the channel plays a role in our ability to perceive sweet, sour, or umami (savory) flavors. In our brains, studies show the abnormal function of CALHM1 may be implicated in the plaques that accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
There are far too many other normal and abnormal functions to mention here in this brief post. Suffice it to say, I’ll look forward to seeing what this enabling research yields in the years ahead.
 On the molecular nature of large-pore channels. Syrjanen, J., Michalski, K., Kawate, T., and Furukawa, H. J Mol Biol. 2021 Aug 20;433(17):166994. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2021.166994. Epub 2021 Apr 16. PMID: 33865869; PMCID: PMC8409005.
 Structure of human CALHM1 reveals key locations for channel regulation and blockade by ruthenium red. Syrjänen JL, Epstein M, Gómez R, Furukawa H. Nat Commun. 2023 Jun 28;14(1):3821. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-39388-3. PMID: 37380652; PMCID: PMC10307800.
 Structure and assembly of calcium homeostasis modulator proteins. Syrjanen JL, Michalski K, Chou TH, Grant T, Rao S, Simorowski N, Tucker SJ, Grigorieff N, Furukawa H. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2020 Feb;27(2):150-159. DOI: 10.1038/s41594-019-0369-9. Epub 2020 Jan 27. PMID: 31988524; PMCID: PMC7015811.
Brain Basics: The Life and Death of a Neuron (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH)
Alzheimer’s Disease (National Institute on Aging/NIH)
Furukawa Lab (Cold Spring Harbor Lab, Cold Spring Harbor, NY)
NIH Support: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; National Institute of Mental Health
Posted on by Lawrence Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D.
A common theme among parents and family members caring for a child with the rare Batten disease is “love, hope, cure.” While inspiring levels of love and hope are found among these amazing families, a cure has been more elusive. One reason is rooted in the need for more basic research. Although researchers have identified an altered gene underlying Batten disease, they’ve had difficulty pinpointing where and how the gene’s abnormal protein product malfunctions, especially in cells within the nervous system.
Now, this investment in more basic research has paid off. In a paper just published in the journal Nature Communications, an international research team pinpointed where and how a key cellular process breaks down in the nervous system to cause Batten disease, sometimes referred to as CLN3 disease . While there’s still a long way to go in learning exactly how to overcome the cellular malfunction, the findings mark an important step forward toward developing targeted treatments for Batten disease and progress in the quest for a cure.
The research also offers yet another excellent example of how studying rare diseases helps to advance our fundamental understanding of human biology. It shows that helping those touched by Batten disease can shed a brighter light on basic cellular processes that drive other diseases, rare and common.
Batten disease affects about 14,000 people worldwide . For those with the juvenile form of this inherited disease of the nervous system, parents may first notice their seemingly healthy child has difficulty saying words, sudden problems with vision or movement, and changes in behavior. Tragically for parents, with no approved treatments to reverse these symptoms, the disease will worsen, leading to severe vision loss, frequent seizures, and impaired motor skills. The disease can be fatal as early as late childhood or the teenage years.
Batten disease also goes by the more technical name of juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. Using this technical name, it represents one of the more than 70 medically recognized lysosomal storage disorders.
These disorders share a breakdown in the ability of membrane-bound cellular components, known as lysosomes, to degrade the molecular waste products of normal cell biology. As a result, all this undegraded material builds up and eventually kills affected cells. In people with Batten disease, the lost and damaged cells cause progressive dysfunction within the nervous system.
Researchers have known for a while that the most common cause of this breakdown in people with Batten disease is the inheritance of two defective copies of a gene called CLN3. As mentioned above, what’s been missing is a more detailed understanding of what exactly a working copy of the CLN3 gene does and how its loss leads to the changes seen in those with this condition.
Hoping to solve this puzzle was an NIH-supported basic research team led by Alessia Calcagni and Andrea Ballabio, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, and Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine, Naples, Italy.
As described in their latest paper, the researchers first generated an antibody that allowed them to visualize where in cells the protein encoded by CLN3 is found. Their studies unexpectedly showed that this protein has a role outside, not inside, the cell’s estimated 50-to-1,000 lysosomes. Before reaching the lysosomes, the protein first moves through another cellular component called the Golgi body, where many proteins are packaged.
They then identified all the other proteins that interact with the CLN3 protein in the Golgi body and elsewhere in the cell. Their data showed that CLN3 interacts with proteins known for transporting other proteins within the cell and forming new lysosomes.
That gave them a valuable clue: the CLN3 gene must be a player in these fundamentally important cellular processes of protein transport and lysosome formation. Among the proteins CLN3 interacts with in the Golgi body is a particular receptor called M6PR. The receptor known for its role in recognizing lysosomal enzymes and delivering them to the lysosomes, where they go to work inside these bubble-like structures degrading cellular waste products.
The researchers found that loss of CLN3 led this important M6PR receptor to be broken down within lysosomes. The breakdown, in turn, altered the normal shape of new lysosomes, and that limits their functionality. The researchers also showed that restoring CLN3 in cells that lacked this gene also restored the production of more functional lysosomes and lysosomal enzymes.
Overall, the findings point to a major role for CLN3 in the formation of lysosomes and their ability to function. Importantly, the findings also offer clues for understanding the mechanisms that underlie other forms of lysosomal storage disease, which collectively affect as many as one in every 40,000 people . The work also may have broader implications for common neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Most of all, this paper demonstrates the power of basic research to define needed molecular targets. It shows how these fundamental studies are helping families affected by Batten disease and supporting their love, hope, and quest for a cure.
 Loss of the batten disease protein CLN3 leads to mis-trafficking of M6PR and defective autophagic-lysosomal reformation. Calcagni’ A, Staiano L, Zampelli N, Minopoli N, Herz NJ, Cullen PJ, Parenti G, De Matteis MA, Grumati P, Ballabio A, et al. Nat Commun. 2023 Jul 3;14(1):3911. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-39643-7. PMID: 37400440; PMCID: PMC10317969.
 Batten Disease. Boston Children’s Hospital.
 Lysosomal storage diseases. Cleveland Clinic fact sheet, June 27, 2022.
Batten Disease (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH)
Rare Diseases (NIH)
Alessia Calcagni (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX)
Andrea Ballabio (Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine, Naples, Italy)
NIH Support: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; National Cancer Institute; National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
Posted on by Lawrence Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D.
In people with Alzheimer’s disease, the underlying changes in the brain associated with dementia typically begin many years—or even decades—before a diagnosis. While pinpointing the exact causes of Alzheimer’s remains a major research challenge, they likely involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Now an NIH-funded study elucidates the role of another likely culprit that you may not have considered: the human gut microbiome, the trillions of diverse bacteria and other microbes that live primarily in our intestines .
Earlier studies had showed that the gut microbiomes of people with symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease differ from those of healthy people with normal cognition . What this new work advances is that these differences arise early on in people who will develop Alzheimer’s, even before any obvious symptoms appear.
The science still has a ways to go before we’ll know if specific dietary changes can alter the gut microbiome and modify its influence on the brain in the right ways. But what’s exciting about this finding is it raises the possibility that doctors one day could test a patient’s stool sample to determine if what’s present from their gut microbiome correlates with greater early risk for Alzheimer’s dementia. Such a test would help doctors detect Alzheimer’s earlier and intervene sooner to slow or ideally even halt its advance.
The new findings, reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine, come from a research team led by Gautam Dantas and Beau Ances, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. Ances is a clinician who treats and studies people with Alzheimer’s; Dantas is a basic researcher and expert on the gut microbiome.
The pair struck up a conversation one day about the possible connection between the gut microbiome and Alzheimer’s. While they knew about the earlier studies suggesting a link, they were surprised that nobody had looked at the gut microbiomes of people in the earliest, so-called preclinical, stages of the disease. That’s when dementia isn’t detectable, but the brain has formed amyloid-beta plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer’s.
To take a look, they enrolled 164 healthy volunteers, age 68 to 94, who performed normally on standard tests of cognition. They also collected stool samples from each volunteer and thoroughly analyzed them all the microbes from their gut microbiome. Study participants also kept food diaries and underwent extensive testing, including two types of brain scans, to look for signs of amyloid-beta plaques and tau protein accumulation that precede the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Among the volunteers, about a third (49 individuals) unfortunately had signs of early Alzheimer’s disease. And, as it turned out, their microbiomes showed differences, too.
The researchers found that those with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease had markedly different assemblages of gut bacteria. Their microbiomes differed in many of the bacterial species present. Those species-level differences also point to differences in the way their microbiomes would be expected to function at a metabolic level. These microbiome changes were observed even though the individuals didn’t seem to have any apparent differences in their diets.
The team also found that the microbiome changes correlated with amyloid-beta and tau levels in the brain. But they did not find any relationship to degenerative changes in the brain, which tend to happen later in people with Alzheimer’s.
The team is now conducting a five-year study that will follow volunteers to get a better handle on whether the differences observed in the gut microbiome are a cause or a consequence of the brain changes seen in Alzheimer’s. If it’s a cause, this discovery would raise the tantalizing possibility that specially formulated probiotics or fecal transplants that promote the growth of “good” bacteria over “bad” bacteria in the gut might slow the development of Alzheimer’s and its most devastating symptoms. It’s an exciting area of research and definitely one worth following in the years ahead.
 Gut microbiome composition may be an indicator of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Ferreiro AL, Choi J, Ryou J, Newcomer EP, Thompson R, Bollinger RM, Hall-Moore C, Ndao IM, Sax L, Benzinger TLS, Stark SL, Holtzman DM, Fagan AM, Schindler SE, Cruchaga C, Butt OH, Morris JC, Tarr PI, Ances BM, Dantas G. Sci Transl Med. 2023 Jun 14;15(700):eabo2984. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abo2984. Epub 2023 Jun 14. PMID: 37315112.
 Gut microbiome alterations in Alzheimer’s disease. Vogt NM, Kerby RL, Dill-McFarland KA, Harding SJ, Merluzzi AP, Johnson SC, Carlsson CM, Asthana S, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Bendlin BB, Rey FE. Sci Rep. 2017 Oct 19;7(1):13537. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-13601-y. PMID: 29051531; PMCID: PMC5648830.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (National Institute on Aging/NIH)
Video: How Alzheimer’s Changes the Brain (NIA)
Dantas Lab (Washington University School of Medicine. St. Louis)
Ances Bioimaging Laboratory (Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis)
NIH Support: National Institute on Aging; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Posted on by Lawrence Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Do you feel as if you or perhaps your family members are constantly coming down with illnesses that drag on longer than they should? Or, maybe you’re one of those lucky people who rarely becomes ill and, if you do, recovers faster than others.
It’s clear that some people generally are more susceptible to infectious illnesses, while others manage to stay healthier or bounce back more quickly, sometimes even into old age. Why is this? A new study from an NIH-supported team has an intriguing answer . The difference, they suggest, may be explained in part by a new measure of immunity they call immune resilience—the ability of the immune system to rapidly launch attacks that defend effectively against infectious invaders and respond appropriately to other types of inflammatory stressors, including aging or other health conditions, and then quickly recover, while keeping potentially damaging inflammation under wraps.
The findings in the journal Nature Communications come from an international team led by Sunil Ahuja, University of Texas Health Science Center and the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Personalized Medicine, both in San Antonio. To understand the role of immune resilience and its effect on longevity and health outcomes, the researchers looked at multiple other studies including healthy individuals and those with a range of health conditions that challenged their immune systems.
By looking at multiple studies in varied infectious and other contexts, they hoped to find clues as to why some people remain healthier even in the face of varied inflammatory stressors, ranging from mild to more severe. But to understand how immune resilience influences health outcomes, they first needed a way to measure or grade this immune attribute.
The researchers developed two methods for measuring immune resilience. The first metric, a laboratory test called immune health grades (IHGs), is a four-tier grading system that calculates the balance between infection-fighting CD8+ and CD4+ T-cells. IHG-I denotes the best balance tracking the highest level of resilience, and IHG-IV denotes the worst balance tracking the lowest level of immune resilience. An imbalance between the levels of these T cell types is observed in many people as they age, when they get sick, and in people with autoimmune diseases and other conditions.
The researchers also developed a second metric that looks for two patterns of expression of a select set of genes. One pattern associated with survival and the other with death. The survival-associated pattern is primarily related to immune competence, or the immune system’s ability to function swiftly and restore activities that encourage disease resistance. The mortality-associated genes are closely related to inflammation, a process through which the immune system eliminates pathogens and begins the healing process but that also underlies many disease states.
Their studies have shown that high expression of the survival-associated genes and lower expression of mortality-associated genes indicate optimal immune resilience, correlating with a longer lifespan. The opposite pattern indicates poor resilience and a greater risk of premature death. When both sets of genes are either low or high at the same time, immune resilience and mortality risks are more moderate.
In the newly reported study initiated in 2014, Ahuja and his colleagues set out to assess immune resilience in a collection of about 48,500 people, with or without various acute, repetitive, or chronic challenges to their immune systems. In an earlier study, the researchers showed that this novel way to measure immune status and resilience predicted hospitalization and mortality during acute COVID-19 across a wide age spectrum .
The investigators have analyzed stored blood samples and publicly available data representing people, many of whom were healthy volunteers, who had enrolled in different studies conducted in Africa, Europe, and North America. Volunteers ranged in age from 9 to 103 years. They also evaluated participants in the Framingham Heart Study, a long-term effort to identify common factors and characteristics that contribute to cardiovascular disease.
To examine people with a wide range of health challenges and associated stresses on their immune systems, the team also included participants who had influenza or COVID-19, and people living with HIV. They also included kidney transplant recipients, people with lifestyle factors that put them at high risk for sexually transmitted infections, and people who’d had sepsis, a condition in which the body has an extreme and life-threatening response following an infection.
The question in all these contexts was the same: How well did the two metrics of immune resilience predict an individual’s health outcomes and lifespan? The short answer is that immune resilience, longevity, and better health outcomes tracked together well. Those with metrics indicating optimal immune resilience generally had better health outcomes and lived longer than those who had lower scores on the immunity grading scale. Indeed, those with optimal immune resilience were more likely to:
- Live longer,
- Resist HIV infection or the progression from HIV to AIDS,
- Resist symptomatic influenza,
- Resist a recurrence of skin cancer after a kidney transplant,
- Survive COVID-19, and
- Survive sepsis.
The study also revealed other interesting findings. While immune resilience generally declines with age, some people maintain higher levels of immune resilience as they get older for reasons that aren’t yet known, according to the researchers. Some people also maintain higher levels of immune resilience despite the presence of inflammatory stress to their immune systems such as during HIV infection or acute COVID-19. People of all ages can show high or low immune resilience. The study also found that higher immune resilience is more common in females than it is in males.
The findings suggest that there is a lot more to learn about why people differ in their ability to preserve optimal immune resilience. With further research, it may be possible to develop treatments or other methods to encourage or restore immune resilience as a way of improving general health, according to the study team.
The researchers suggest it’s possible that one day checkups of a person’s immune resilience could help us to understand and predict an individual’s health status and risk for a wide range of health conditions. It could also help to identify those individuals who may be at a higher risk of poor outcomes when they do get sick and may need more aggressive treatment. Researchers may also consider immune resilience when designing vaccine clinical trials.
A more thorough understanding of immune resilience and discovery of ways to improve it may help to address important health disparities linked to differences in race, ethnicity, geography, and other factors. We know that healthy eating, exercising, and taking precautions to avoid getting sick foster good health and longevity; in the future, perhaps we’ll also consider how our immune resilience measures up and take steps to achieve or maintain a healthier, more balanced, immunity status.
 Immune resilience despite inflammatory stress promotes longevity and favorable health outcomes including resistance to infection. Ahuja SK, Manoharan MS, Lee GC, McKinnon LR, Meunier JA, Steri M, Harper N, Fiorillo E, Smith AM, Restrepo MI, Branum AP, Bottomley MJ, Orrù V, Jimenez F, Carrillo A, Pandranki L, Winter CA, Winter LA, Gaitan AA, Moreira AG, Walter EA, Silvestri G, King CL, Zheng YT, Zheng HY, Kimani J, Blake Ball T, Plummer FA, Fowke KR, Harden PN, Wood KJ, Ferris MT, Lund JM, Heise MT, Garrett N, Canady KR, Abdool Karim SS, Little SJ, Gianella S, Smith DM, Letendre S, Richman DD, Cucca F, Trinh H, Sanchez-Reilly S, Hecht JM, Cadena Zuluaga JA, Anzueto A, Pugh JA; South Texas Veterans Health Care System COVID-19 team; Agan BK, Root-Bernstein R, Clark RA, Okulicz JF, He W. Nat Commun. 2023 Jun 13;14(1):3286. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-38238-6. PMID: 37311745.
 Immunologic resilience and COVID-19 survival advantage. Lee GC, Restrepo MI, Harper N, Manoharan MS, Smith AM, Meunier JA, Sanchez-Reilly S, Ehsan A, Branum AP, Winter C, Winter L, Jimenez F, Pandranki L, Carrillo A, Perez GL, Anzueto A, Trinh H, Lee M, Hecht JM, Martinez-Vargas C, Sehgal RT, Cadena J, Walter EA, Oakman K, Benavides R, Pugh JA; South Texas Veterans Health Care System COVID-19 Team; Letendre S, Steri M, Orrù V, Fiorillo E, Cucca F, Moreira AG, Zhang N, Leadbetter E, Agan BK, Richman DD, He W, Clark RA, Okulicz JF, Ahuja SK. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2021 Nov;148(5):1176-1191. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2021.08.021. Epub 2021 Sep 8. PMID: 34508765; PMCID: PMC8425719.
COVID-19 Research (NIH)
HIV Info (NIH)
Sepsis (National Institute of General Medical Sciences/NIH)
Sunil Ahuja (University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio)
Framingham Heart Study (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH)
“A Secret to Health and Long Life? Immune Resilience, NIAID Grantees Report,” NIAID Now Blog, June 13, 2023
NIH Support: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; National Institute on Aging; National Institute of Mental Health; National Institute of General Medical Sciences; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Posted on by Lawrence Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D.
“Location, location, location.” While most of us know this phrase as a real estate adage, location—specifically that of various cell types—is becoming a key area of investigation in studying human disease. New techniques are enabling scientists to understand where certain cells are with respect to one another and how changes in their activity may affect your overall health.
In one recent example of the power of this approach, NIH-funded researchers  used a sophisticated method to map immune cells within human skin to get a more detailed picture of psoriasis, a common, chronic disease in which the immune system becomes overactive leading to skin inflammation. People with psoriasis develop patches of itchy, red, and flaky lesions on their skin, which can be mild to severe. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, they’re also at higher risk for developing a wide range of other health conditions, including a unique form of arthritis known as psoriatic arthritis, diabetes, mental health issues, heart problems, and more.
The hope is that these newly drawn, precise maps of cellular “neighborhoods” in human skin will help chart the precise course of this disease to understand better the differences between mild and more severe forms. They may also yield important clues as to why people with psoriasis develop other health problems more often than people without psoriasis.
In the new study, a team including Jose Scher and Shruti Naik, NYU Langone, New York, analyzed immune cells within 25 skin samples from 14 volunteers, including those with active psoriasis, those with psoriasis but no active lesions, and people with healthy skin who do not have psoriasis. The researchers relied on a sophisticated approach called spatial transcriptomics  to map out what happens at the single-cell level within the samples.
In earlier approaches to single-cell analysis, researchers first would separate cells from the tissue they came from. While they could measure gene activity within those cells at the individual level, they couldn’t put things back together to see how they all fit. With spatial transcriptomics, it’s now possible to molecularly profile single cells to measure their activity in a tissue sample while also mapping their locations with respect to other cells.
The new study led to some intriguing findings. For instance, certain immune cells, specifically B cells, moved to the upper layers of the skin during active disease. That’s notable because prior studies had been unable to capture B cells in the skin adequately, and these cells are thought to play an important role in the disease.
Interestingly, the spatial cellular maps revealed inflammatory regions in both actively inflamed skin and in skin that appeared healthy. This finding highlights the fact that the inflammation that goes with psoriasis can affect the skin, and likely other parts of the body, in ways that aren’t easily observed. In future studies, the researchers want to explore how the presence of psoriasis and its underlying changes in immune cell activity may influence other organs and tissues beneath the skin.
Their fine-scale maps also showed increased gene activity in dozens of molecular pathways that are tied to metabolism and the control of lipid levels. That’s especially interesting because these factors are known to go awry in diabetes and heart conditions, which happen more often in people with psoriasis compared to those without. They also could see in their maps that this altered activity sometimes occurred in clear skin distant from any apparent lesions.
Having discovered such signals with potential consequences for other parts of the body, the researchers report that they’re working to understand how inflammatory immune cells and processes in the skin may lead to more widespread disease processes that affect other parts of the body. They plan to conduct similar studies in larger groups of people with and without active psoriasis lesions and studies following individuals with psoriasis over time. They’ll also explore questions about why people respond differently to the same anti-inflammatory treatment regimens.
To speed the process of discovery, they’ve made their maps and associated data freely available as a resource for the scientific community. About 7.5 million adults in the U.S. and millions more worldwide have psoriasis and associated psoriatic conditions . The hope is that these maps will one day help to steer them toward a healthier future.
 Spatial transcriptomics stratifies psoriatic disease severity by emergent cellular ecosystems. Castillo RL, Sidhu I, Dolgalev I, Chu T, Prystupa A, Subudhi I, Yan D, Konieczny P, Hsieh B, Haberman RH, Selvaraj S, Shiomi T, Medina R, Girija PV, Heguy A, Loomis CA, Chiriboga L, Ritchlin C, Garcia-Hernandez ML, Carucci J, Meehan SA, Neimann AL, Gudjonsson JE, Scher JU, Naik S. Sci Immunol. 2023 Jun 8;8(84):eabq7991. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abq7991.
 Method of the Year: spatially resolved transcriptomics. Marx V. Nat Methods. 2021 Jan;18(1):9-14. doi: 10.1038/s41592-020-01033-y.
 Psoriasis Prevalence in Adults in the United States. Armstrong AW, Mehta MD, Schupp CW, Gondo GC, Bell SJ, Griffiths CEM. JAMA Dermatol. 2021 Aug 1;157(8):940-946. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2021.2007.
Psoriasis (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases/NIH)
Jose Scher (NYU Langone Health, New York, NY)
Shruti Naik (NYU Langone Health, New York, NY)
NIH Support: National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
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