Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine

Project title: Neuro-immune regulation of asthmatic airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation

Richard Casaburi PhD MD, Lundquist Institute, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Harry Rossiter PhD, Lundquist Institute, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Virender Rehan MD, Lundquist Institute, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Jack Feldman PhD, UCLA
Mannish Butte MD PhD, UCLA

Multidisciplinary Expertise:
Neuroscience, immunology, neuroimmunology, physiology, bioinformatics

Project Description:
Despite mainstay immunosuppressive therapies, asthma remains one of the costliest chronic diseases, affecting millions of Americans. The allergic response triggers many asthmatic symptoms of neurogenic origin, and emerging evidence highlights the crucial role of neural regulation of immunity. However, the communication between tissues and nerves, and reflex integration is poorly understood warranting further investigation. This project explores the hypothesis that complementary neuroendocrine-neuron clusters become sensitized with allergic asthma and exacerbate asthmatic inflammation and reflex mediated bronchoconstriction. We will investigate the cellular mechanisms involved in neuroendocrine-neuron hypersensitization and conduct studies to test how suppression of these mechanisms may quell asthmatic inflammation in vivo. These studies will increase our understanding of neuroimmune regulation in allergic asthma and provide the potential to target novel pathways for pharmaceutical development.