Samuel Connell

Investigating the roles of CD4 T cells and Interferon Gamma in the pathogenesis of Alopecia Areata

The Jabbari lab studies alopecia areata (AA), an autoimmune disease of the hair follicle characterized by follicular infiltration of immune cells, comprised predominantly of CD4 and CD8 T cells. AA is estimated to affect up to 6 million people in the United States at some point during their lifetime and commonly affects patients younger than 20 years old, which can have a damaging impact on their self-esteem. The aim of the lab is to identify effector cell populations and cytokine pathways that are involved in the pathogenesis of disease utilizing the C3H/HeJ mouse model and human skin samples.

Recent work in the field has primarily focused on the contribution of CD8 T cells and has highlighted NKG2D+ CD8 T cells as pathogenic effector cells in the attack of the hair follicle. However, the involvement of CD4 T cells in the pathogenesis of disease is still not fully known. Preliminary data from the lab, as well as work from other groups, has indicated that CD4 T cells are able to induce disease when isolated from AA mice and transferred into recipient mice. Additionally, it has been well-established that IFNg is a pivotal cytokine in AA, and our lab has found that the skin draining lymph nodes of AA mice have a higher number of IFNg+CD4+ T cells, suggesting a role of CD4 derived IFNg in the pathogenesis of disease.

My project in the lab is to identify the roles that CD4 T cells and CD4 derived IFNg play on the loss of hair follicle tolerance and the development of disease.

Sam Connell
Cedar Rapids, IA
BA, Psychology, University of Iowa

2110 ML
United States

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