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Providers > Researchers > Ross M. Kedl
Innate Immunity and Cancer Immunology The laboratory is investigating how Toll Like Receptors (TLRs) generate innate immunity and how the nature of the innate response effects the generation of downstream adaptive immunity. Much effort has gone into determining the minimal requirements and molecular pathways involved in creating the appropriate immunogenic context of antigen presentation. Since the time of Jenner (Edward, not Bruce) it has been recognized that the presentation of antigens in the context of a microbial or viral infection is potently immunogenic. It was later observed that this immunogenic activity can often be localized to the infectious material itself rather than the process of infection, eg. complete Freunds adjuvant and Coley’s toxin.
We now know that a good deal of this immunogenic activity is due to various microbial and viral products interacting with a family of mammalian molecules called Toll-like receptors (TLR) expressed predominantly on cells of the innate immune system. The involvement of TLRs in immunity is at least two fold, first as direct activators of innate immunity and second as initiators of adaptive immunity. TLR stimulation induces immediate innate effector functions and also creates the necessary conditions for the initiation of adaptive immunity. A dual role of TLRs in both innate and adaptive immunity has been confirmed in mice with genetic deletions of TLRs or TLR signaling molecules. Generally, mice with such deletions induce innate immunity less efficiently and have lower T and B cell responses to infection or vaccination than their wild type littermates.
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