Mechanisms of LtxA (Leukotoxin), a Potent New Anti-Inflammatory Agent for the Treatment of Alopecia Areata

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Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition where activated, pro-inflammatory white blood cells (WBCs) attack the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Migration of these activated WBCs from the blood stream and into the follicle tissue requires interaction between the integrin, lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) on WBCs, and ICAM-1 on vascular endothelial cells. High levels of active LFA-1 are uniquely expressed on WBCs that are involved in autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. The natural biologic agent LtxA (Leukothera) preferentially targets and depletes disease activated and malignant WBCs by binding to active LFA-1. The experimental drug has demonstrated significant therapeutic efficacy against autoimmune/inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and allergic asthma in mouse models for these diseases. In addition, when injected into rodents, rhesus macaques, and dogs, LtxA was demonstrated to be physiologically active, biologically specific, and extremely well-tolerated. LFA-1 is an attractive target for therapy because it is only normally present on WBCs and has been shown to be activated and overexpressed on WBCs that are responsible for autoimmune/inflammatory conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-22
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology

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