Assistant Professor

Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplantation

Project Title: The Role of Neutophil Activation in Hepatic Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

Jerzy Kupiec-Weglinski, MD, PhD – UCLA
Steven Bensinger, DVM, PhD – UCLA

Multidisciplinary Expertise:
Liver Transplantation, Liver Disease, Inflammation, Neutrophils, Cytokines, Cell and Molecular Biology, Signal Transduction, Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

Project Description:
Ischemia/reperfusion injury is the principal mechanism of organ damage in transplantation, heart attacks, strokes, and other vascular diseases. It is a multifactorial inflammatory process that occurs without any exogenous antigens and instigates a series of innate immune-related responses that can result in cell damage, cell death, and organ failure. Neutrophil activation is a major effector cell in ischemia/reperfusion injury. Our proposal probes the connections between a key signaling molecule, Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, and the activation of neutrophils, as well as how these interactions and their effects lead to liver ischemia/reperfusion injury. We intend to do this using a murine model, as well as by studying specimens obtained at the time of surgery from human liver transplant recipients. By understanding the mechanisms through which the activation of neutrophils can be inhibited or modified, we can derive new therapies to prevent or treat ischemia/reperfusion injury.