Plenary Lecture

Plenary Lecture

Chemokines and their Receptors: Potential Therapeutic Targets in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dr. Jim Middleton
Reader, Head of Arthritis Research
Leopold Muller Arthritis Research Centre
School of Medicine, Keele University
RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital
Oswestry, Shrops SY10 7AG

Chemokines are involved in driving the migration of leukocytes into tissues in inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Chemokine binding sites on endothelial cells that may transport and present chemokines to blood leukocytes have been identified, including heparan sulphate proteoglycans and DARC. This then results in transendothelial migration of leukocytes into the joint tissues where these cells are fundamental to disease pathophysiology. Furthermore selective chemokine receptors on leukocytes that are responsible for their recruitment have been characterised. In addition, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) may be useful in inflammatory diseases and chemokine receptors present on these cells could be involved in homing of MSCs to inflamed tissue leading to anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. Overall chemokine receptors on endothelial cells, leukocytes and stem cells may provide therapeutic targets for pharmacological intervention in rheumatoid arthritis.

Brief Biography of the Speaker:
I did my degree in Biological Sciences at Bath University followed by a PhD at Lancaster University (UK). After postdoctoral positions in Cambridge and Bath, I was a Senior Scientist at Novartis Research Institute, Vienna. Then I joined the Medical School, Keele University at the RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry, where I am currently Reader and Head of Arthritis Research.



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