associated TP5: Immunopathology of hair follicle stem cell region "Bulge" in murine models of epidermolysis bullosa acquisita (EBA)

This project investigates the immunopathogensis of cicatricial alopecias - a rare but clinically important group of hair follicle disorders that occur due to irreversible destruction of bulge epithelial stem cells and for which the pathogenic mechanism has not yet been clearly illustrated. We investigate the stem cell-damaging effects of (auto-)antibodies directed against a well-defined autoantigen (collagen type VII) in the region where hair follicle epithelial stem cells are located (bulge), using both passive and active mouse models of epidermolysis bullosa acquisita (EBA). By exploiting EBA as a model for antibody-dependent, organ-specific autoimmune diseases, we hope to better understand the direct and indirect immune pathomechanisms through with epithelial stem cells suffer, may be protected from, and/or recover from autoantibody-mediated damage in situ. This is investigated by a range of quantitative immunohistomorphometry techniques in murine back skin at defined time points after disease induction.

Sai Uppalapati graduated in 2014 and now works as a PostDoc in India.