Plenary Lecture

A Novel Therapeutic Strategy to Combat Autoimmunity and Chronic Inflammations

Professor David Naor
The Lautenberg Center of Immunology and Cancer Research
Faculty of Medicine
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Abstract: A human CD44-derived 5-mer peptide displays an efficient anti-inflammatory response in collagen–induced arthritis mouse model, as it can regenerate the normal anatomy and the function of the damaged tissue. Injection of the peptide after the onset of the disease substantially reduced the inflammation as indicated by blind analysis of footpad swelling and histopathology of joint sections. The effect is autoimmune-specific and the peptide injection does not induce neutralizing antibodies. In attempt to understand its mechanism of action we focused efforts to identify the target molecule of this 5-mer peptide. Mass Spectrometry analysis revealed that serum amyloid A (SAA) is a potential target for the anti-inflammatory activity of the 5-mer peptide. The SAA epitope, which is recognized and neutralized by the peptide ,as documented by in vitro experiments, is highly involved not only in the pathology of rheumatoid arthritis, but also in the pathologies of Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis Obesity , Liver Inflammation and Cardiovascular diseases. Examples will be presented. The literature indicates that SAA strongly supports cell migration under inflammatory conditions. This finding can explain why the 5-mer peptide is effective in the inhibition of joint inflammation and restore the normal anatomy of the tissue, as cell migration is an essential element of the inflammation cascade.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Professor David Naor is a professor of immunology in the Hebrew University, faculty of Medicine and was the head of Milton Winograd Chair of Cancer Studies. He received his Ph.D from the Hebrew University. He served as visiting professor in leading universities (e.g., UCLA, Harvard). He published 153 articles, including in leading journals like Nature, PNAS , J Clin Invest, J immunol , J Exp Med etc. His current research. has been focused on the role of CD44 and other hyaluronan-binding molecules (e.g., RHAMM) in autoimmune and cancer diseases. This CD44 research yielded 34 articles, which were cited thousands of times. He was invited to speak on CD44 at 8 plenary sessions of international conferences. He has been a member in editorial boards of several international scientific journals and he is on the scientific board of International Congress on Autoimmunity. He received awards from Johnson & Johnson "In recognition of outstanding research towards the advances of science and technology in health care” and from the Hebrew University for his “outstanding achievements in research and teaching”

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