Periodic Reporting for period 1 - miRNAs in TH2 cells (Role of extracellular miRNAs in T cell development, TH2 cell differentiation and TH2 cell-mediated effector function)
Reporting period: 2015-08-01 to 2017-07-31
TH2 cells secrete soluble protein mediators called “cytokines” that pull the trigger on inflammation. For example, factors secreted by TH2 cells are responsible for sensitisation to allergens like pollen, grass or house dust mite. These factors are linked to sneezing, wheezing and rashes typical of allergic reactions. They also cause hyper-secretion of mucus in the airways, particularly in allergic asthma. This project investigates a new class of secreted factors - called miRNAs - produced by TH2 cells. While this project was supported by the European Commission, we performed experiments to identify: i) which miRNAs are secreted by TH2 cells; ii) which miRNAs are transferred to other cells of the immune system; iii) what are the molecular mechanism that govern miRNA secretion; iv) what is the biological implication of secreted miRNAs in the development of allergic asthma.
As a result of this project we will publish our findings in full advancing our understanding of how the body responds to allergens, the immune system and the development of immunological diseases (see below). This project will help to expand the therapeutic window to treat different immunological disorders, from allergies to autoimmune diseases.
Results overview: we so far produced results: i) screen for novel miRNAs that can potentially be transferred from TH2 cells to other cells; ii) identified a potentially novel mechanisms by which miRNAs are produced and maintained in TH2 cells; iii) produced preliminary data indicating that one particular miRNA could be responsible for the manifestation of allergic asthma. Once published, these data will help to shape future research direction, and provide novel insight on miRNAs involvement in allergic disease.
Result exploitation and dissemination: These results will help the development and production of novel therapies for the treatment and cure of different type-2 related diseases, from allergy to autoimmunity. The results produced by this study, partially supported by the European Commission, will soon be made available through scientific publications, and its content will be disseminated to the general public with the support of our lab, the publisher and the host institution. We think we provided a solid contribution on the basic understanding of T cell biology, the development of allergy and possible drug discovery.