1. How do cytokine signals regulate the initiation, amplification and resolution of the Th2 response?
Th2 immunity is essential for defence against worm infections, and the same type of immune response is also responsible for allergies and allergic asthma. Although many of us are familiar with the symptoms of a Th2 response, we know very little about the signals responsible or about how to regulate their impact.
One of our major projects seeks to understand how cytokines influence the cells and processes that initiate Th2 immunity. Our current hypothesis is that a specialised subset of dendritic cells is solely responsible for Th2 induction, but that these dendritic cells only acquire this function after activation by specific cytokine signals.