Epigenetic mechanisms, as well as microRNAs (miRNAs), are critically involved in immune responses. The antigen stimulation that drives helper T-cell differentiation into specific cell subsets is a process that occurs by inducing chromatin remodeling and altering transcriptional accessibility of key cytokine genes. These epigenetic changes are then carried over throughout cell division to ensure selective survival of a particular immune cell lineage. A range of miRNAs also are involved in the development and function of immune cells, including differentiation of B- and T-cells, proliferation of monocytes and neutrophils, antibody switching, and the release of inflammatory mediators.
The purpose of the miRNA and Epigenetic Regulations of the Immune Response workshop is to bring together investigators interested in epigenetic and miRNA-mediated regulations of T-cell development and function, and their involvement in immune and autoimmune responses in diseases such as lupus or Type-1 Diabetes. Further discussion will encompass research involved in manipulating these regulatory pathways (e.g., small molecules, antagomirs, deacetylases, etc.) and explore new possibilities for the development of specific therapeutics in the area of immune tolerance and histocompatibility (e.g., islet transplantation, cell replacement), immunosuppression, and possibly reprogramming of the adaptive immune response in autoimmunity.
For questions concerning program content, contact:
Dr. Olivier Blondel
Endocrine Systems Biology Program
Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
National Institutes of Health
Two Democracy Plaza, Room 796
6707 Democracy Boulevard, MSC 5460
Bethesda, MD 20892-5460
Phone: (301) 451-7334
Fax: (301) 480-0475
For questions concerning meeting logistics, contact:
John Hare, CMP
The Scientific Consulting Group, Inc.
656 Quince Orchard Road, Suite 210
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Phone: (301) 670-4990
Fax: (301) 670-3815