1) Cellular and molecular mechanisms initiating / progressing HFD induced chronic inflammation in liver and adipose tissue.
CD8+ T cells, CD4+ T cells and Tregs are involved in these tissue inflammation. The abundance of NKT cells in liver and their important regulatory function suggest, NKT cells may also be involved in these obesity related chronic inflammation. Our interest is to study the role of NKT cells in obesity related chronic inflammation, demonstrate cellular and molecular mechanisms initiating / progressing HFD induced chronic inflammation in liver and adipose tissue.
2) Contributions of different APCs to NKT cell activation.
Variants of NKT cell ligand have been used to modulate the ratio of Th1/Th2 response, develop new therapeutic strategies. The mechanisms are not well known. We have some results suggest that, contributions of different APCs (antigen presenting cells) to NKT cell activation could explain the different immune responses. The purpose of study is to understand the role of APCs in regulating NKT cell function and downstream immune response.
3) Formation of immune synapse.
Events happen at the T cells / APCs interface (immune synapse) are crucial for T cell activation. With both in vivo and in vitro imaging approaches, we will directly visualize the synapse formation and NKT cells activation, dissect molecular events happened at the NKT/APCs interface during synapse formation.