CIR studies mechanisms of allergy development and how the mucosal immune system reinforces the barriers of the airways and gastrointestinal tract.
Harmless antigens - adverse reactions
In some predisposed individuals, harmless foreign substances, such as inhaled particles, may trigger adverse immune reactions and cause chronic inflammations such as allergic airway inflammation.
The mucus membranes that line our internal body cavities (e.g. gut and airways) face the formidable task of protecting the inside of our bodies while allowing uptake of nutrients and exchange of gases. The mucosal immune system must react to pathogenic microbes such as bacteria and viruses, while ignoring harmless foods and antigens in inhaled air.
CIR scientists, mainly in the Jahnsen group, work in mucosal immunology with a particular emphasis on how innate and adaptive immune systems communicate and cooperate.
- We apply a unique human in vivo model for upper airway allergy to study the interaction between the local immune system and stromal cells in the nasal mucosa during the course of inflammation..
- We study the function of regulatory T cells that reside in the airway mucosa and whether these have the capacity to control allergic inflammation.
With a long term goal of providing better treatment or preventing care we use a variety of approaches, including allergen provocation studies in patients and animal models, to gain insight into the pathology of airway allergy.