Description of Research: David M.
Our lab studies immunology, clinical pharmacology,
and infectious diseases with a focus on the role of
eicosanoids in regulating innate immunity.
Primarily we explore how one class of eicosanoids,
the prostaglandins, modulates host-microbial interactions
between bacterial pathogens and innate immune cells.
Macrophages, neutrophils, and epithelial cells are
the cellular participants under closest observation.
For macrophages (and neutrophils) our focus is on
the regulation of 3 primary functions: (1) receptor-mediated
recognition & phagocytosis of bacteria; (2) mechanisms
of intracellular killing of bacteria; and (3) the
production of inflammatory mediators (such as cytokines,
chemokines, & lipids). Our work in epithelial
cells centers on the regulation & functions of
Our lab has two major projects:
1. The regulation of female reproductive tract innate
immunity by prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). This work involves
both in vitro and in vivo investigations into the
ways in which PGE2 modulates the host response to
bacterial endometritis. A recent area of interest
has been trying to understand the pathogenesis of
clostridial endometritis associated with the clinical
use of the PGE2 analogue misoprostol.
2. The immunoregulatory role of PGE2 in the lung.
PGE2 has immunosuppressive properties, particularly
against cells involved in innate immunity like macrophages.
Our lab has helped define the ways by which PGE2 produced
in the lung impair host defenses against bacterial
pathogens to increase the risk for (and severity of)
pneumonia. This is most relevant in certain clinical
circumstances characterized by an exaggerated production
of PGE2. Such clinical conditions include malnutrition,
advanced age, solid organ and stem cell tranplantation,
and HIV. This work has a major emphasis on the intracellular
signaling cascades within alveolar macrophages that
are responsible for PGE2's effects on phagocytosis,
bacterial killing, and inflammatory mediator generation.
This work is done in close collaboration with the
laboratory of Dr. Marc Peters-Golden in the Division
of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine.
We are always interested in hearing from potential
graduate students or post-doctoral fellows.
This lab is fun, friendly, and highly productive.
If you would like to learn more about our lab, please
send Dr. Aronoff an e-mail: email@example.com