T cell-fibroblast interactive cell atlas in systemic sclerosis: Role of T cell exhaustion in tissue fibrosis


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic, autoimmune connective tissue disease affecting 1-2individuals per 100,000 per year. To this day organ complications remain a major contributor to mortality in Systemic sclerosis (SSc). Therefore, it is of importance to develop additional methods, which could help in the early identification of high-risk patients who would benefit from an increased disease monitoring and timely treatment.
This project is designed to build bridges between Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University and Faculty of Medical Sciences, Royal Free Hospital Campus, University College London, with equal participation of both partners.

Facts and figures

Project lead
M Aspari
Aarhus University
FOREUM research grant: €50'000
2019 - 2020

Meet the team

M Aspari
Aarhus University
B Deleuran
Aarhus University
D Abraham
University College London


The pivotal role of T lymphocytes with an aberrant immune response in SSc is now well established, however, the role of exhausted T cells in the immunopathogenesis of SSc is a largely unexplored area of study. The overall aim is to observe and establish the role of exhausted T cells and markers of T cell exhaustion in Systemic sclerosis. We suggest that in autoimmune diseases such as systemic sclerosis, the continued antigen presentation will lead to T-cell exhaustion (TEX).