JOHAN GRUNEWALD TEAM
Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease of unknown etiology, primarily involving the lungs, with pulmonary fibrosis in ~25% and mortality rates of up to 5%.
There are no specific markers for disease, no specific treatment, and the etiology of sarcoidosis is unknown.
We collaborate with a number of experts in immunology, epidemiology, proteomics, genetics, pathology, and clinical studies.
Our hypothesis is that sarcoidosis is caused by exposure for specific antigens in genetically predisposed individuals, and that such antigens are possible to identify using the approaches as described in our application. Another goal is to identify markers for the disease.
We obtain inflammatory cells and mediators from the lungs through bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage, and characterize B- as well as T-cell –specificities and functions. We specifically study patients with Löfgren´s syndrome, being clinically, immunologically and genetically uniform. Our recent finding of identical T cell receptors (TCRs) on lung accumulated T cells of different individual patients proves T cell reactivity against an identical antigen. We have a large network of collaborators, including several international ones, applying new techniques, e.g. to screen for the specificity of T cell hybridomas epressing TCRs of interest.
These studies may result in the identification of markers of disease that could be e.g. suitable targets for immunotherapy, and reveal the etiology of sarcoidosis, which would be of importance not only for patients with sarcoidosis, but also for patients with other pulmonary inflammatory disorders.