Senior Investigator (Scientist Emeritus):
Contact Information: Email 301-496-4159
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
The research carried out by the Section addresses issues related to mechanisms, cells and molecules that participate in the induction or modulation of ocular inflammation. We are using the following animal models for ocular inflammation: (i) experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU), that is actively induced in rodents by immunization with retinal antigens, mostly IRBP or S-antigen, or uveitogenic peptides from their sequence; (ii) ocular inflammation that is induced in transgenic mice expressing hen egg lysozyme (HEL) in their eyes, by adoptively transferring populations of T-cells specific against HEL. The scientific issues currently being addressed include: (1) mechanisms whereby naïve T-cells are activated to acquire pathogenic capacity and the role played by microbial products in these processes; (2) the pathogenic capacity of Th17 cells and their involvement in inflammatory eye disease; (3) differences between the kinetics of pathogenic processes mediated by Th1 or Th17 cells; (4) plasticity of T-cell subsets; (5) subpopulations of Th17 differing in their pathogenic capacity and other biological features; (6) generation of “Th9” populations and analysis of their unique features; (7) modulation of ocular inflammation by immunosuppressive compounds.