Webinar by Prof. Susan Schlenner, University of Leuven, Belgium
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a subset of CD4+ T cells that possess immunosuppressive functions. They play a key role in human health as their malfunction results in allergies and auto-inflammatory disorders. Loss of regulatory T cells results in a rare autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome called IPEX, which is characterised by autoimmune enteropathy, psoriasiform or eczematous dermatitis and other autoimmune skin disorders. In mice, this condition is called scurfy. Tregs also play an important role in peripheral immunological tolerance and the immune response towards pathogens and tumors.
The forkhead transcription factor Foxp3, an essential marker for Tregs, is crucial for their development, maintenance and immunosuppressive functions. The population of Tregs is generally a stable one but many studies have described the loss of Foxp3 expression in Tregs (ex-Treg), resulting in their instability and the acquisition of effector T cell characteristics.
The potential of using Tregs in therapeutics and the inflammatory responses due to unstable Tregs has resulted in them being studied widely. This webinar describes one such study by the group of Prof Susan Schlenner, which aimed to find answers to these questions:
- Do ex-Treg increase because of microbial or antigenic challenge?
- Is ex-Treg formation a stochastic event?
- Do ex-Treg possess fate memory of the Treg lineage?
- Can we identify and characterise unstable Tregs using -omics?
The webinar describes the study of the populations of unstable Tregs using multi-omics technology and examines the existing models of ex-Treg formation.
Register here to get a link to this webinar.
About the speaker
Since 2019, Prof. Susan Schlenner has headed the Adaptive Immunology Lab and the molecular Treg group at the KU, Leuven.
Her successful work was recognised with a research professorship by the University of Leuven in 2018, allowing her to focus her group on two research areas that are particularly close to her heart: plasticity of Treg and RNA modifications in T cells.
Susan Schlenner has published 30 papers, including key publications in the fields of Innate Immunity (Schneider, Schlenner, Feyerabend, et al, JEM 2007; Akahoshi et al, JCI 2011)
Hematopoietic progenitors (Schlenner et al, Immunity 2010; Martins et al, JEM 2012; Busch et al, Nature 2015)
Treg biology (Schlenner et al, JEM 2012; Pierson et al, Nature Immunology 2013; Franckaert et al, ICB 2015; Brajic et al, Front Immunol 2018)
Autoimmune disease (Dooley et al, Nature Genetics 2016; Schlenner et al, Ann Rheum Dis 2018)