Dr. Ramón Merino Pérez, Staff Scientist (CSIC)
- Esther Tamayo Revuelta, Postdoctoral
- Marta Alonso Varela, Predoctoral
- Iván Gómez Herrero, Laboratory Technician
Upon antigenic encounter naïve CD4+ T cells differentiate into distinct functional Th subpopulations with defined patterns of cytokine production and effector functions. Due to their antagonism in the control of lymphoid homeostasis, our interest has been focused in the study of regulatory CD4+CD25+ T cells (Tregs; tolelance) and Th17 cells (involved in the pathogenesis of different autoimmune/inflammatory diseases). Strikingly, both subpopulations are induced after antigenic stimulation in the presence of a common cytokine; TGF-ß. Recent studies show that TGF-ß promotes the generation of Th17 cells together with pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6. In view of the dual role of TGF-ß in the differentiation of Tregs and Th17 and in the antagonistic activity of both populations in the control of immune tolerance, our research is focused in the study of the molecular mechanisms that modulate TGF-ß activity on naïve CD4+ T lymphocytes and that determine the differentiation, functional activity and stability of Tregs and Th17 subpopulations. Those studies are performed using mutant mice that overexpress or are deficient in particular regulators of TGF-ß signalling, in vitro models of Tregs and Th17 differentiation and function and in vivo models of Th17-dependent autoimmune diseases in mice.
In addition, our group is interested in the study of the cause-effect relationship among the development of rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis in experimental animal models of autoimmune arthritis. We are particularly interested in the study of the immunomodulatory properties of ApoE after its overexpression in vivo with lentiviral vectors.
Mecanismos moduladores de la diferenciación y actividad funcional de los linfocitos T CD4+CD25+ reguladores. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (SAF2011-22463). 2012-2014.
Desarrollo de nuevos procedimientos diagnósticos y terapéuticos basados en la tecnología de GPBP. MICINN-INNPACTO (IPT-2011-1527-010000). Entidades participantes: Fibrostatin S.L. (Valencia), Universidad de Valencia, Universidad de Cantabria (UC). Sept-2011-Dec-2014.
Relevant publications (last 10 years)