Interaction between Innate and Th2 Lymphocytes in Helminth Immunity

Investigator: Jesse Nussbaum, MD
Sponsor: NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

Location(s): United States


Helminth parasites have co-evolved with their mammalian hosts, and these infections exact a significant burden on Public Health resources. Elucidating host immune responses to these parasites is necessary to design new therapies and will also reveal how Innate and adaptive Immunity evolved to regulate tissue repair and homeostasis. This proposal combines models of invasive Helminth Infection in reporter Mouse Strains with live imaging techniques to define cells and Signalingpathways that initiate and maintain Helminth Immunity.

Understanding the conserved signals that initiate and maintain immune responses to Helminths will answer crucial questions about co-evolved host-pathogen interactions and enable therapies that improve life in the developing world. This research plan uses well-established models and existing animal models to define novel interactions between T Helper Cells and newly discovered Innate Lymphocytes. The specific aims are to define (1) the dynamic properties of these cell-cell interactions, (2) the relative contribution of these cell to memory immune responses, and (3) the role of hormonal signals in lymphocyte activation.