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 ResearchResearch AreasImmunology and Innate DefensesDeNardin     July 22, 2014  

Immunology and Innate Defenses

ERNESTO DENARDIN, PhD personal profile

Neutrophils’ key role in host defense against extracellular bacteria and acute phase of inflammatory reactions

The importance of these primary phagocytic cells in combating infectious disease is demonstrated through the increased susceptibility to recurrent bacterial infection in patients with defective neutrophil production and/or function. Our laboratory is currently investigating the mechanisms by which various inflammatory and immune molecules and their respective receptors activate and regulate neutrophils in health and disease. In particular, we are studying receptors for chemoattractants such as the n-formylated peptides (FMLP) or cytokines such as CXCL8 (Interleukin-8), as well as receptors for the Fc portions of immunoglobulins. Characterization of these receptors involves creating functional maps of the receptor molecules as well as elucidation of their role in neutrophil activation.

We are also studying other inflammatory molecules such as fibrinogen and other acute-phase proteins and their role in the link between chronic infections and systemic diseases such as atheromatous cardiovascular disease. Finally, our group is also involved in the study of phagocyte-bacterial interaction as well as various genetic polymorphisms which may be associated with disease.