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Carolyne Smith
e-mail address: cksm@umich.edu

Mentor: Mariana Kaplan, MD


Research Description

Systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder that primarily affects women, manifesting in photosensitivity, rashes, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and renal and neurological disorders.  Female patients with SLE are 50 times more likely to have a myocardial infarction than non-SLE women.  Previous work has demonstrated that the oxidized form of high-density lipoprotein (ox-HDL), shown to be pro-inflammatory and vaso-damaging, is a significant biomarker for atherosclerosis in SLE patients.  The cellular sources of HDL oxidation and the effect of this unique form of HDL on macrophage activity are not completely understood.  Our work is focused on elucidating the mechanisms of HDL oxidation in SLE patients and the effect this dysfunctional molecule has on general inflammation and atherosclerotic lesion formation.


Smith CK1, Vivekanandan-Giri A, Tang C, Knight JS, Mathew A, Padilla RL, Gillespie BW, Carmona-Rivera C, Liu X, Subramanian V, Hasni S, Thompson PR, Heinecke JW, Saran R, Pennathur S, Kaplan MJ. Neutrophil extracellular trap-derived enzymes oxidize high-density lipoprotein: an additional proatherogenic mechanism in systemic lupus erythematosus. 2014 May 16. doi: 10.1002/art.38703. [Epub ahead of print]

Knight JS, Subramanian V, O'Dell AA, Yalavarthi S, Zhao W, Smith CK, Hodgin JB, Thompson PR, Kaplan MJ. Peptidylarginine deiminase inhibition disrupts NET formation and protects against kidney, skin and vascular disease in lupus-prone MRL/lpr mice. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014 Aug 7. pii: annrheumdis-2014-205365. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-205365. [Epub ahead of print]

Kahlenberg, J.M., Carmona-Rivera, C., Smith, C.K., Kaplan, M.J. (2013) Neutrophil Extracellular Trap-Associated Protein Activation of the NLRP3 Inflammasome Is Enhanced in Lupus Macrophages. J. Immunol. 190: 1217-1226.

Thacker S.G., Zhao W., Smith C.K., et al. Type I interferons modulate vascular function, repair, thrombosis, and plaque progression in murine models of lupus and atherosclerosis. Arthritis Rheum. 2012; 64: 2975-2985  


Carolyne Smith, Mariana Kaplan. Neutrophil Extracellular Traps as a Source of High Density Lipoprotein Oxidation in Lupus-Related Cardiovascular Disease. National Institute of Health, NIAMS Retreat, Bethesda, MD. Poster and Oral.
May 2014.

Carolyne Smith, Mariana Kaplan. NET-derived Myeloperoxidase, NADPH Oxidase and Nitric Oxide Synthase as Sources of HDL Oxidation in SLE.
American Association of Immunologists in Pittsburgh, PA. Poster. May 2014.

Carolyne Smith, Mariana Kaplan. Lupus Neutrophil Extracellular Traps Render High Density Lipoprotein Oxidized And Proatherogenic. American College of Rheumatology San Diego, CA. Oral. October 2013.

Carolyne Smith
, Mariana Kaplan. Proinflammatory HDL Profile in Lupus Patients. Autumn Immunology Conference, Chicago, IL, November 2012.


NIH, NIAMS, Outstanding Oral Presentation for quality of scientific investigation and presentation skills, 2014.

American Association of Immunologists, Trainee Poster Award for significant research in an immunological field, 2014.

Rheumatology Research Foundation, Student Achievement Award, 2013.

Division of Rheumatology, University of Michigan, Abraham Grant Award, 2013

Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant, University of Michigan, 2012

Rackham Graduate Student Travel Grant, University of Michigan, 2012

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), University of Michigan,
Supplementary Funding Grant, 2012

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