Shahram Solaymani-Mohammadi to present “It Takes Two Flints to Make A Fire”: Interluekin 21 and Interferon Gamma in Inflammation and Immunity in the Colon

The UND Department of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) Host-Pathogen Interactions CoBRE Group present their next Faculty Candidate Seminar on Tuesday, Dec. 10.  At noon in SMHS Room W203, Shahram Solaymani-Mohammadi, MSPH., Ph.D., staff scientist, Center for Global Infectious Disease will present “It Takes Two Flints to Make A Fire”: Interluekin 21 and Interferon Gamma in Inflammation and Immunity in the Colon.

Diarrheal diseases still remain the second-leading cause of mortality in children younger than 5 years old worldwide, leading to 1.3 million deaths per year. The diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) pathotypes are considered NIAID Biodefense Category B agents. Human infections with enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EPEC and EHEC, respectively) are associated with human disease. EPEC is a common cause of infantile diarrhea in the developing and underdeveloped world, and EHEC is considered an emerging zoonotic infection. These enteric pathogens cause a wide range of clinical symptoms, varying from mild diarrhea to more complicated clinical presentations, including hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) and hemorrhagic colitis. Using a murine model of Citrobacter rodentium infection, we found the requirement of a functional IL-21/IL-21R signaling axis in the control of enteric microbial infections via augmenting activation of STAT1 in mucosal CD4+ T cells in a murine model of Citrobacter rodentium colitis. Understanding how the IL-21/IL-21R signaling pathway contributes to the host immunity in the colon will further provide insights into the development of novel preventive and therapeutic targets for human subjects with enteric microbial infections and other inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and celiac disease.