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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.


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

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.  


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


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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