We study how tissue microenvironment influence the development and function of mononuclear phagocytes (MP cells) of the innate immune system, which comprises of monocytes, dendritic cells (DC), and macrophages. Dendritic cells excel at antigen presentation to induce adaptive immune responses while tissue-macrophages are versatile cells with roles in innate immunity and tissue homeostasis. Many distinct phenotypic and functional subsets of these cells have been described. Each tissue harbors its own unique repertoire of DC and macrophage subsets, which undergoes significant changes during pathological conditions such as inflammation, infection, tumor, etc. Circulating monocytes can infiltrate tissue and undergo differentiation into either DC or macrophage, but factors that control this decision process is not fully understood. Macrophages can also develop from embryonic precursors, independent of monocytes. Likewise, DCs also develop from bone-marrow derived precursors independent of monocytes. Therefore, MP cells are phenotypically, functionally, and developmentally heterogeneous. We are interested in understanding molecular mechanisms that control this heterogeneity in the steady state as well as in pathological conditions such as cancer.
© The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania | Site best viewed in a supported browser. | Site Design: PMACS Web Team.