Dramatic changes in the microbiota and diet during early life poses a challenge to the developing immune system. We are exploring the mechanisms by which the immune system establishes tolerance to these environmental antigens.
We have identified a wave of intestinal immune cells that play a critical role in establishing immune tolerance to commensal antigens during early life, raising key questions which our work seeks to address:
- What are the tissue and developmental stage specific cues that regulate the development of tolerogenic innate immune cells?
- What are the mechanisms underlying their immunosuppressive functions?
- How do perturbations in their development and function lead to pediatric autoimmune and allergic disease?