An international team, led by researchers from King's College London, analyzed samples taken from 81 people with a rare autoimmune disorder called autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APECED).
‘The autoantibodies commonly produced by people with autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APECED) was found to inhibit the development of psoriatic pathology.’
To discover if APECED patients' autoantibodies could have therapeutic potential, the team tested them in a mouse model of psoriasis.
They found that injecting the mice with autoantibodies from the APECED patients could inhibit the development of psoriatic pathology.
The team also found that increased T cell auto-reactivity in patients with APECED was linked with increased B-cell auto-reactivity. B cells are a type of immune cell that produces antibodies.
"This is very significant because antibodies make up one of the largest sectors of the pharmaceutical market, and one of the great quests in the pharmaceutical industry is to be able to routinely generate antibodies against human proteins implicated in diseases," said Adrian Hayday from King's College London.
"The findings suggest a route to drug recovery in which, naturally arising highly-efficacious autoantibodies can be isolated from patients whose clinical information guides us as to the diseases most likely to benefit from those antibodies," he added in a paper published in the journal Cell.