Our Science – Young Website
Howard A. Young, Ph.D.
Regulation of Cytokine Gene Expression
The Cellular and Molecular Immunology Section studies the control of gene expression during the development and maturation of the cellular immune system in mediating antitumor and anti-inflammatory immune responses. The general goals of this section are to use cellular and molecular approaches to investigate the consequences of persistent exposure to IFN-gamma alters host physiology. The specific aim of the Cellular and Molecular Immunology Section is to study how chronic IFN-gamma expression influences immune system development and maturation. To approach this question, we have generated a novel mouse model where a portion of the 3' untranslated region of the mRNA has been changed and this will now permit us to understand the role of this region on IFN-gamma expression. We have backcrossed this genetic change onto the murine C57BL/6 and Balb/c genetic backgrounds and as a consequence have developed new mouse models for lupus and aplastic anemia. These mice are characterized by low but chronic Interferon-gamma expression. As a result there is persistent upregulation of IFN-gamma inducible genes, resulting in the development of autoimmunity. Overall, our studies represent a cellular and molecular analysis of the regulation of cytokine gene expression in lymphoid cells and the effects on the host. Our studies provide a basis for developing a more complete understanding of the effects of IFN-gamma expression during the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease, cancer and infection.
An additional project in the lab focuses on the introduction of target antigens coated onto probiotic bacteria, for the purpose of determining if intestinal mucosal exposure of these antigens can lead to a protective immune response. Preliminary results indicate that this approach can result in a systemic host immune response to a target antigen.
Our collaborators include NCI investigators Giorgio Trinchieri, Robert Wiltrout, Dan McVicar, Dennis Klinman, and David Wink. In addition we have collaborations with Dr. Stefanie Vogel, (University of Maryland School of Medicine), Dr. Dan Barber (NIAID),Dr. Bira Arya (NIA), Dr. Monika Wolters (The Netherlands) and Dr. Khatijah Yusoff (Malaysia)
This page was last updated on 5/21/2014.