• Recent research project results published

    The results of a recent CICRA-funded research project have been published in The Journal of Immunology: http://www.jimmunol.org/content/198/9/3417

    Dr. McCarthy and co-workers found that a type of immune cell called ‘gamma delta T-cells’ in the human intestine can increase levels of a chemical known as IL-22 when exposed to bacteria. IL-22 plays an important role in protecting the gut barrier against bacteria, but most types of immune cell in the gut cannot produce this chemical without also making pro-inflammatory signals at the same time. Surprisingly, gamma delta T-cells capable of recognizing bacteria are not present in mice, so very little research has been done on these immune cells in the past. However, Dr. McCarthy’s work in the human gut now shows that these cells are able to increase IL-22 levels and stimulate release of anti-bacterial proteins without promoting inflammation. Research following on from this work will investigate how gamma delta T-cell function is altered in IBD and whether these cells can be targeted as a new type for treatment in human patients.

    “Thank you so much for supporting my ongoing work in this area – we uncovered some very exciting things over the course of this research that simply wouldn’t have been possible without CICRA’s help!” Dr Neil E McCarthy, Centre for Immunobiology, The Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London