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We study the role that ion channels play in the development and persistence of the chronic autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE affects about 1.5 million Americans, predominantly women, and is characterized by a broad variety of clinical symptoms such as glomerulonephritis and central nervous system impairment. We have shown that human T lymphocytes present with a characteristic defect in potassium channel behavior that contributes to the hyperactivity of SLE T lymphocytes. This finding opens the possibility of targeting ion channels for new therapeutic intervention. We are currently studies the role that ion channels play in the hyperactivity of T lymphocytes of SLE patients with a focus on their chemotactic and cytotoxic capabilities.  To this goal we are utilizing humanized mouse models of lupus nephritis. 

Relevant Publications:

  1. Conforti L. The ion channel network in T lymphocytes, a target for immunotherapy. Editorial. Clin. Immunol. 142 (2): 105-106, 2012.
  2. Nicolaou S.A., Neumeier L., A. Steckly, V. Kucher, K. Takimoto and Conforti L., Localization of Kv1.3 channels in the immunological synapse regulates the calcium response to antigen stimulation in T lymphocytes. J. Immunol. 183: 6296 -6302, 2009. PMID: 19841189 PMCID: PMC2783516.
  3. Nicolaou SA, Neumeier L, Takimoto K, Lee SM, Duncan HJ, Kant SK, Mongey AB, Filipovich AH, Conforti L. Differential calcium signaling and Kv1.3 trafficking to the immunological synapse in systemic lupus erythematosus. Cell Calcium. 2010 Jan;47(1):19-28. doi: 10.1016/j.ceca.2009.11.001. Epub 2009 Dec 2. PubMed PMID: 19959227; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2819652.
  4. Nicolaou SA, Szigligeti P, Neumeier L, Lee SM, Duncan HJ, Kant SK, Mongey AB, Filipovich AH, Conforti L. Altered dynamics of Kv1.3 channel compartmentalization in the immunological synapse in systemic lupus erythematosus. J Immunol. 2007 Jul 1;179(1):346-56. PubMed PMID: 17579055; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2453311.

Complete list of Published Work in MyBibliography:


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Department of
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