Tolerance of the intestinal immune system.
Previously, our group worked on the regulation of innate lymphocytes in the intestines. We defined a regulatory subset of innate lymphoid cells, named ILCregs. ILCregs secrete large amounts of IL-10 and TGF-b and inhibits over reaction of ILC1/ILC3 during the intestinal inflammation (Cell 2017). We will further investigate the development of ILCregs and the establishement of immune tolerance by ILCregs.
Transdifferentiation of lymphocytes during the progression of mucosal diseases.
Host defense against infectious microbes triggers recruitment and differentiation of lymphocytes. During the process of diseases, effector cells response is usually followed by a shift to regulatory cells. We will use lineage tracing models to investigate the conversion of lymphocytes and reveal the mechanisms of lymphocyte transdifferentiation.
Development of innate lymphocytes.
Innate lymphocytes develop from common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs) and exert similar function as Th cell subsets. However, innate lymphocytes do not undergo negative/positive selection or stimulation during maturation. How innate lymphocytes develop in the intestines is still an enigma. We will use epigenetic tracing models to explore innate lymphocyte development.