Grants awarded

Elucidating how tissue resident regulatory T cells contribute to epithelial stem cell homeostasis and tissue regeneration

Grantholder:

Dr Niwa Ali

King's College London

United Kingdom

The maintenance of tissue homeostasis is dependent upon the immune cells present in that tissue, but also the ability of stem cells (SCs) to renew themselves. How immune cells influence the function of SCs is largely unknown. The skin contains immune cells known as regulatory T-cells (Tregs). Conventionally, these cells act by suppressing over-activated immune cells in the tissue. We have recently shown that Tregs in the skin are required for the efficient function of skin SCs, and they exert their function via expression of a receptor, called Jagged-1 (Jag1). We will dissect how Jag1-expressing Tregs influence skin SCs during normal skin function and during skin cancer.

By understanding how Jag1 and Tregs work in tissues, we can better understand how SC- mediated diseases and cancer progression occurs and we can develop better targeted therapies for these diseases.