Research Summary

Cytokines are immune hormones that help orchestrate the intricacies of the nature and intensity of an immune response to environmental and microbial challenges. Our lab is focused on the interleukin-7 cytokine family, which includes IL-7 and Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin (TSLP). IL-7 is in several clinical trials for its immune reconstitution properties in HIV-AIDS, bone marrow transplants and cancer immunotherapy. IL-7 is an essential survival cytokine for several immune cell types (T-, B-, innate lymphoid cells and iNKT cells) such that loss of IL-7 or its receptor causes severe combined immunodeficiency.

Our projects range from:

  • Dissecting novel IL-7 roles in T effector cell function against pathogens, namely Influenza/A and Listeria monocytogenes
  • Evaluating their potential in boosting memory T cell specificity to Influenza/A
  • Determining the barrier integrity role of these cytokines in airway immunity
  • Detailing their role in B cell development both in bone marrow progenitors as well as in various peripheral B cell subsets; we are interested in the role of IL-7 signals in functional B cell responses to mount antibody responses to Influenza/A
  • Using genetic, knock-in and conditional knockout disruption approaches to assess what IL-7 receptor signals are critical for supporting T- and B progenitors and mature lymphocytes
  • We are interested in how we can target signals from the IL-7R for therapeutic benefit.
  1. Patton, D.T., Plumb, A.W. and Abraham, N.. The survival of pro-B cells and differentiation of pre-B cells in the bone marrow is dependent on IL-7Rα Y449.. J. Immunol. In press.
  2. Patton, D.T., Plumb, A.W., Redpath, S.A., Osborne, L.C., Perona-Wright, G. and Abraham, N. (2014). The development and survival but not function of follicular B cells is dependent on IL-7Rα Tyr449 signaling.. PLoS ONE 9 (2) 2014: e88771. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088771.
  3. Plumb AW , Patton DT , Seo JH , Loveday EK , Jean F , Ziegler SF , Abraham N. (2012). Interleukin-7, but not thymic stromal lymphopoietin, plays a key role in the T cell response to influenza A virus.. PLoS One. 7(11)
  4. Zhang J , Chen Z , Fritz JH , Rochman Y , Leonard WJ , Gommerman JL , Plumb AW , Abraham N , Croy BA. (2012). Unusual timing of CD127 expression by mouse uterine natural killer cells. Journal of leukocyte biology. 91(3)
  5. Huang Y , Park Y , Wang-Zhu Y , Larange A , Arens R , Bernardo I , Olivares-Villagómez D , Herndler-Brandstetter D , Abraham N , Grubeck-Loebenstein B , Schoenberger SP , Van Kaer L , Kronenberg M , Teitell MA , Cheroutre H. (2011). Mucosal memory CD8⁺ T cells are selected in the periphery by an MHC class I molecule. Nature immunology. 12(11)
  6. Osborne LC , Patton DT , Seo JH , Abraham N. (2011). Elevated IL-7 availability does not account for T cell proliferation in moderate lymphopenia.. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 186(4)
  7. Lai JC , Wlodarska M , Liu DJ , Abraham N , Johnson P. (2010). CD45 regulates migration, proliferation, and progression of double negative 1 thymocytes.. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 185(4)
  8. Osborne LC , Duthie KA , Seo JH , Gascoyne RD , Abraham N. (2010). Selective ablation of the YxxM motif of IL-7Ralpha suppresses lymphomagenesis but maintains lymphocyte development.. Oncogene. 29(26)
  9. Osborne LC , Abraham N. (2010). Regulation of memory T cells by γc cytokines.. Cytokine. 50(2)
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