Findings could help treatment of autoimmune diseases

A new study confirms that healthy adults carry these switched-off cells, which can cause auto-immune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

It is not known it the switched-off cells in healthy adults are true precursors of the self-attacking immune cells.

The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation found that dormant auto-immune disease-causing cells account for 2.5 percent of immune b-cells circulating in the blood of healthy adults.

The study is published in today's online issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

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