The importance of tissue-resident macrophages for tissue surveillance and homeostasis is emerging. We want to gain an understading to ultimately have the ability to reprogram the mechanisms of tissue-resident macrophages for pathogen clearance and regulation of related mechanisms such as inflammation. We are collaborating with Dr. Kamal Khanna with two tissue-resident macrophage populations:
Lung: The lung is a very complex organ with specialized structures to allow for adequate gas exchange. The pulmonary microenvironment is unique and has a direct and important influence on the resident immune cells, especially macrophage populations. Currently, it is well established that lung harbors two distinct populations of macrophages known as alveolar macrophages (AMs) and interstitial macrophages (IMs). Dr. Khanna and is lab have recently discovered a new subset of macrophages in the lung, an interstitial subset of CD169+ lung resident macrophages that are transcriptionally and developmentally distinct from alveolar macrophages. We are analyzing RNA-seq data to reveal the unique transcriptional signature and mechanisms of this population of macrophages.
Spleen: CD169+ macrophages are a subpopulation of tissue-resident macrophages positioned in the splenic marginal zone (MZ) that are among the first cell types to encounter invading pathogens. Analogous to this, in the lymph nodes (LNs), CD169+ macrophages reside in the subcapsular sinus and have been shown to play a protective role against viral infections by capturing LNs draining viral particles, as well as for initiating humoral and adaptive immune responses against other infections and tumors. However, little is known about the functional outcome and downstream consequences of pathogen uptake by splenic MZ CD169+ macrophages after infections. We are analyzing RNA-seq data to reveal the unique transcriptional signature and mechanisms of this population of macrophages.
More information can be found in my collaborator’s website: https://med.nyu.edu/microbiology-parasitology/khanna-lab-microbiology