A HUF 996 million EU-funded research program on autoimmune diseases has been completed at the Biological Research Center of Szeged and the University of Szeged, the Center informed the state news agency MTI.
The five-year project aimed to increase knowledge about autoimmune diseases using state-of-the-art technologies.
The research investigated the mechanisms underlying the development or progression of systemic autoimmune diseases, which affect multiple organs. The researchers examined blood samples from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, which mainly involves inflammation of the joints, systemic lupus erythematosus, which causes skin and joint symptoms, and progressive systemic sclerosis, which mainly affects women aged 40-60 years.
The researchers identified previously unknown clinical, molecular and immunological markers that can help in the diagnosis of autoimmune, inflammatory pathologies, the course of the disease, the expected impact of medication and the prediction of complications. Researchers have discovered a new blood plasma marker that may aid early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
As part of the project, they acquired a bioanalytical system that allows profiling of individual cells based on multiple properties at a resolution previously unachievable. The researchers have identified several immune cell subpopulations that are involved in the development of the diseases under investigation.
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