Pathogen-host interactions important to airway inflammation
H4/616, 9988 Clinical Science Center
600 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53792
Cellular & Molecular Metabolism; Immunology; Physiology
The Denlinger lab studies the roles of extracellular nucleotides as paracrine stress hormones. One specific project centers on a nucleotide receptor P2X7 and its role in amplifying innate immune responses to infectious and allergic stimuli recognized by Toll Like Receptors. The Denlinger lab is interested in the regulation of expression and function of the human P2RX7 gene as well as its contribution to airway disorders. P2X7 is a nonselective cation channel expressed by leukocytes and epithelial cells that is involved in amplification of innate immune cytokine responses and microbial killing. An active project focuses on the role of this receptor in regulating macrophage-epithelial cell cross-talk in the production of eicosanoid lipids important for the resolution of inflammation. We also have a functional screening assay that has proven reliable in identifying subjects with variant alleles. Using this assay as an epidemiological tool in collaboration with several investigators at the UW Asthma Center, we are testing the hypothesis that attenuated P2X7 function contributes to increased asthma symptoms and/or biomarkers driven by allergic stimuli and respiratory viruses.