• Fernandes, Gabriel (PI)
  • Talal, Norman (PI)
  • Montgomery, Michael (PI)
  • Aufdemorte, Thomas (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Sjogren's Syndrome is an autoimmune systemic illness characterized by
xerostomia and xerophthalmia secondary to destructive lymphocytic
infiltration of salivary and lacrimal glands. The clinical picture runs
the spectrum from localized glandular secretory insufficiency a
generalized lymphoproliferative disorder at times terminating into
lymphoma. Patients present initially to a dentist or otolaryngologist
because of rampant dental caries, severe dry mouth or parotid gland
swelling. The UTHSC in San Antonio proposes a detailed study of oral
health and immune status in patients suffering from SS and is
acknowledged international authority in autoimmune disorders. He has
assembled a team of dental and medical scientist utilizing the latest
techniques of molecular medicine and immunopathology, organized into
three projects and two cores. Project I, (Bacteriologic and immunologic Studies of Xerostomia in SS)
focuses on the relationship between salivary gland pathology, diminished
salivary flow, caries formation, periodontitis and mucosal lesions. A
detailed study of salivary bacterial flora, cytokines and immunoglobulins
will be performed. Project II, (Regulation of Inflammatory Cytokines in SS Salivary Glands)
Utilizes PCR to study the mRNA for pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory
cytokines in relations to the severity of the SS lesion as determined by
biopsy and focus score. Preliminary results suggest that TGFbeta may be
an important natural immunosuppressive factor preventing the development
of SS. Project III, (Suppression of SS in Transgenic Mice by Diet) employees a
new transgenic mouse model for SS to evaluate the effect of low calorie
restriction on salivary gland lesion and life spans. The PI of this
project, Dr. Gabriel Fernandes, is also the Co-Director of the program
and an international authority on diet, immune response and aging. These
projects are supported by an Immunopathology Core which make
immunoquantitative histochemical analysis for immunoglobulins and
cytokines available to all investigators. Administrative Core will assure the availability of statistical and
secretarial assistance. Our goal is to contribute to the eradication of
SS and related diseases by the end of the century.
Effective start/end date3/1/942/29/00


  • National Institutes of Health: $714,943.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Dentistry(all)


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