In the Martin Lab we have several individual areas of research. They all come together under the umbrella of Th2 responses (most of the time). One thing we do in this lab is follow the science and see where it leads us. It makes things more exciting.

Current Projects-

1. Benign IgE and B1 cells: changing how we understand helminth infection and allergic asthma.

Cell Reports.2018 Feb 13;22(7):1824-1834.

2. A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase 17 is Selectively Required for ILC2 Responses to IL-33

Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) play an important role in the initiation of type-2 immune responses. We have demonstrated that the loss of ADAM17 from ILC2s results in a defect in IL-33 responsiveness. As shown above, IL1R2 recruits the subunit IL1RAP, preventing it from complexing with ST2 to form the IL-33 receptor. We believe that ADAM17 is regulating IL1R2, as it is responsible for shedding it in various cell types in both a constitutive and activation induced manner. Through this mechanism, ADAM17 activation alters responsiveness to IL-33 stimulation.

A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase 17 is required for ILC2 responses to IL-33


3. Protease allergens induce attenuated T follicular helper responses compared to aeroallergens resulting in low-affinity IgE production

Anaphylaxis is a type of severe allergic reaction that is initiated by cross-linking of high-affinity IgE on mast cells leading to mast cell degranulation. Recent evidence demonstrates that T follicular helper cells (Tfh) producing both IL-4 and IL-13, termed Tfh13s, are necessary for the generation of anaphylactic IgE. The mechanisms regulating the polarization of these T cells, however, remain unclear. Parasite infection, which induces strong IgE responses, fails to induce Tfh13 polarization. We therefore hypothesized that papain, a cysteine protease that resembles parasitic CA family peptidases, would similarly fail to induce Tfh13 polarization compared to the aeroallergen Alternaria due to differential action on dendritic cells (DCs). We found that intranasal immunization with LPS+OVA and Alternaria+OVA induced a 2-fold Tfh expansion in the draining lymph node compared to papain+OVA. Additionally, Alternaria stimulated Tfh13 polarization and high-affinity IgE production while papain only induced Th2 responses and non-specific IgE. Analysis of DC migration by immunization with fluorescently tagged OVA alongside these adjuvants revealed markedly different migration kinetics following each stimulus. However, numbers of Ag+ DCs, amount of antigen uptake, and proportions of Ag+ migratory vs. resident DCs in the mediastinal lymph nodes were similar between all groups. Thus, we demonstrate that papain, in contrast to Alternaria, is unable to induce Tfh13 polarization and anaphylactic IgE. We propose that the differential effects of these adjuvants are likely mediated by alternative mechanisms of DC licensing and distinct DC transcriptional profiles.

4. Rapid clinical diagnostic through improvements in PCR technologies.

Stay tuned, as results will be published when possible. Contact Dr. Martin if interested.

5. The immune modulating role of DNA methyltransferase inhibitors.

Previous work was published by Luker et. al. and a new publication is in preparation on this project from our newly graduated, T.J. Smith, Jr. PhD.