2012‐2013 Research Grants  Using alopecia areata (AA) patients’ sera to identify antigens that are targets of 

2012‐2013 Research Grants Using alopecia areata (AA) patients’ sera to identify antigens that are targets of AA patients’ autoantibodies Principal Investigator: Daisy Dai, PhD Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado Overview Aim 1: Generate cDNA expression libraries against RNA isolated from microdissected hair follicles and intact skin, and use patients’ sera to screen for cDNA(s) encoding target antigens. This approach is an alternative to screening for autoantibodies directed against known targets, allowing a non‐
biased approach to identifying targets that include unknown and less abundant than known target candidates. The investigators have worked with Dr. Angela Christiano at Columbia University, who has optimized a protocol for microdissecting hair follicles. After this procedure was optimized and fully operational in Dr. Christiano’s laboratory, Dr. Dai traveled to Columbia University to learn the procedure. Once this procedure is optimized at the University of Colorado, investigators will collaborate with Dr. David Norris, who is also located at the University of Colorado, to collect hair follicles and scalp epidermis to begin the process of creating the cDNA library that will be used to evaluate alopecia areata patients’ sera. Aim 2: After confirming that individual plaques are interacting with alopecia areata sera, these plaques can be purified and used to affinity purify alopecia areata antibodies. In addition, the cDNA can be sequenced, and this information can be used to interrogate known protein databases to identify the antigen. Progress: The study will be complete after RNA samples are obtained and a final report will be submitted. Microdissection of hair follicles is a cumbersome procedure and the collection of samples is still in progress. Quality of life in Patients with Alopecia Areata Tito R. Mendoza, MS, MEd, PhD The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Overview At the NAAF Corporate Leadership Council meeting the pharma companies requested that we have the Quality of Life studies completed and published before they bring drugs to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This study is essential because of the limitations of current studies about health‐related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with alopecia areata such as small sample sizes, limited focus on psychological disorders, and lack of a study identifying high‐risk alopecia areata patients and the lack of a psychometrically validated HRQOL assessment tool. The investigators will develop a National Alopecia Areata Registry Symptom Scale (NAARSS), following standard psychometric procedures and to perform secondary analysis of the National Alopecia Areata Registry (NAAR) data to describe the quality of life with patients with alopecia areata. Progress: The complete final report for this study is due on December 31, 2012. 1
2012‐2013 Research Grants Therapy for alopecia areata in mice using parathyroid hormone agonists and antagonists linked to a collagen‐binding domain Principal Investigators: Robert Gensure, MD, PhD; Tulasi Ponnapakkam, PhD; Ranjitha Katikaneni, MBBS Children’s Hospital at Monefiore, Bronx, New York Overview Alopecia areata is a very common cause of hair loss, affecting around five million people in the United States. In alopecia areata, the immune system damages the hair follicles, which causes hair loss and prevents the normal regrowth of hair after shedding. Parathyroid hormone not only regulates calcium and bone health, but also affects hair follicles, causing them to transition back into a growth phase. Researchers have attached parathyroid hormone to a protein that is attracted to collagen in the skin, and they found that this new protein (called PTH‐CBD) can prevent and treat hair loss after chemotherapy in mice. Given the way this new drug works, researchers think it is very likely that it can also be used to treat alopecia areata, and they are testing this drug in the mouse model for this disease. This research began April 1, 2012. Clonotype analysis of alopecia areata‐specific CD8 T‐lymphocytes Principal Investigator: Ralf Paus, MD University Hospital Schleswig‐Holstein, Lubbock, Germany Overview This project will first identify the specific clone of CD8 T‐lymphocytes that are attacking the hair follicles and then classify their particular target antigens on the follicle. This could lead to the determination of the exact target for the immunologic attack. This discovery would open the door to the development of a specific therapy to block this attack and successfully treat alopecia areata. This research began November 1, 2012. Skin cell therapy for the long term treatment of alopecia areata Principal Investigator: Aziz Ghahary, MD University of British Columbia, Canada Overview This exciting project will investigate the potential for IDO producing cells to inhibit inflammation and hair loss in an alopecia areata mouse model. The effectiveness of the treatment in mice will be evaluated and characterized with a variety of immune cell markers. This research began November 1, 2012. 2
2012‐2013 Research Grants Incidence of alopecia areata in office setting Principal Investigators: Chauncey Caldwell, MS; Daquesha Chever, DO Ameriderm Research Facilities Overview To develop an incidence protocol and performing a chart review of over 3000 patients with alopecia areata to assess: (1) Type of Alopecia Areata (2) Areas on the patient’s body involved with AA (3) Sex (4) Age on onset (5) Concomitant disease (6) Concomitant medicines (7) Treatments utilized (8) Treatment response (9) Confounding lifestyle factors (i.e., alcohol, tobacco) This research began on September 1, 2012. National Alopecia Areata Registry Principal Investigator: Madeleine Duvic, M.D. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Supporting Registry Sites: University of Colorado; Columbia University; University of Minnesota; University of California, San Francisco Overview: The National Alopecia Areata Registry is an organized network of centers that identify and register patients with alopecia areata. Relevant research samples are collected and information is catalogued and stored in a central repository. The Registry is a powerful resource of clinical data available to investigators studying the disease and pharmaceuticals developing treatments. The Registry does not offer treatment for alopecia areata. However, in collecting data about the genetic and environmental factors that predispose for alopecia areata, we hope to develop effective treatments and a cure. The Registry has successfully ascertained 8,709 first tier participants and 3,515 second tier participants. The Registry is designed to answer epidemiological questions and provides clean, easily accessible data for investigators to develop effective treatments. The Registry is an instant network for clinical studies, easily alerting and enrolling patients in clinical trials. The Registry was supported by Award Number HHSN268200682279C from The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), one of the institutions in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Federal funding for the Registry ended on March 31, 2012, at which time NAAF assumed financial responsibility. NAAF is committed to fund the Registry from March 31, 2012 through September 30, 2016. 3
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