Antigen presentation and inflammation in the central nervous system
The Wu lab is dedicated to understanding the regulation of adaptive immune responses in the central nervous system during health and disease. Several different antigen presenting cells participate in CD4 T cell-mediated immunity. We have focused on the role of two – B cells and dendritic cells – that are highly relevant to the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. To analyze distinct contributions of various antigen presenting cells with specificity and efficiency, we have generated a new in vivo system for the conditional expression of major histocompatibility complex class II. By utilizing the animal system experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, we are exploring the individual contribution of dendritic cells and B cells to the initiation, as well as propagation, of autoimmune reactions targeting the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves.