(Single Cell Immunology)
Recent advances in single cell technologies such as mass cytometry and single cell RNA-Seq have revealed high levels of heterogeneity among immune cells. Accordingly, Foxp3 expressing CD4+ regulatory T-cells (Tregs) need to adapt to diverse immunological environments Tregs themselves must show a diversity of functional states. Recent evidence demonstrates that Tregs partially mirror the phenotype of effector T-cell subset such as Th1, Th17 and Tfh cells.
In particular, T-follicular regulatory cells (Tfr) expressing the Tfh lineage defining transcription factor BCL6 are able to gain expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR5 and travel to the B-cell follicle where they act to suppress antibody production. Previously we have demonstrated that Tregs and Tfr control the formation of T-follicular helper cells and the resulting B-cell germinal center reaction via the co-inhibitory receptor CTLA-4 (Wing et al, Immunity 2014). Recently we found that there is a fundamental split in effector Treg subtypes with BCL6 expressing Tfr forming an IL-2 inhibited branch requiring them to downregulate the canonical Treg marker CD25 (IL2RA) in order to reach the germinal center (Wing et al, PNAS 2017). We have also found CXCR5 expressing Tfr like cells present in human blood.
Given the complexity of the underlying biology a high dimensional approach, using mass cytometry (CyTOF), has many benefits for both the understanding of Treg heterogeneity and characterising the wide ranging effects of their impairment. Currently we are applying mass cytometry and other single cell techniques to a number of issues such as to explore the diversity of Tregs and consequences of Treg impairment in a variety of settings such as autoimmunity and cancer (Wing et al, Immunity 2019).
|2003-2007||PhD University of Sheffield: Sheffield, UK|
|1999-2003||Degree in medical microbiology, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK|
|2019 -||Associate Professor (Human Immunology) IFReC, Osaka University|
|2017 to 2019||Associate Professor (Experimental Immunology) IFReC, Osaka University|
|2012 to 2017||Assistant Professor (Experimental Immunology) IFReC, Osaka University|
|2010 to 2012||JSPS fellow (Experimental Immunology) IFReC, Osaka University|
|2008 to 2010||Post-doctoral research fellow. University of Sheffield: Sheffield, UK|