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"Microbial associated molecular pattern regulation of IEL/epithelial
interactions"
Principal Investigator: Dr. Karen Edelblum
Institution: Rutgers University - New Jersey Medical School

Evidence increasingly indicates that defective recognition of microbes
normally found in the intestine by the immune system may contribute to
the development of a number of diseases, including inflammatory bowel
disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, asthma, Parkinson's disease and
autism. The epithelium lines the gastrointestinal tract and forms a barrier
that separates the intestinal contents from host tissues; this epithelial
barrier is critical in controlling this microbial recognition. We have shown
that a specific subset of immune cells ( intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL))
continuously migrate along the epithelium to patrol the barrier, thus
serving as a first line of defense against invasive microbes. Within
minutes of infection, IELs migrate to infected epithelial cells to prevent
further microbial invasion, yet the mechanism by which IELs "sense"
these microbes remains unknown. The goal of this study is to examine
the role of microbial signals in targeting IEL migration to infected
epithelial cells by identifying the microbial signals that promote IEL entry
and retention within the epithelium. Understanding how microbes
regulate IEL epithelial surveillance is a critical first step in the potential
development of therapeutics to prevent the gut-associated inflammatory
responses that contribute to a number of chronic diseases.

The above project description is supplied by the Principal Investigator