Faculty of Dentistry International Research Event
The Dean of Research, Linda H. Bergersen, organizes the Faculty of Dentistry International Research Events.
This time, the event features two themes of wide significance. Inflammasomes in mucous membranes help defend against infections but are also involved in allergy and inflammatory disease. Regulaion of the blood-brain barrier by cells in the walls of blood vessels is essential for protecting the brain and at the same time providing nutrients and draining waste.
1030-1115 Darlene A. Dartt (Harvard Medical School, Boston):
"Inflammasomes in ocular and oral biology"
1115-1200 Michael Vanlandewijck (Uppsala university, Uppsala & Karolinska Institute, Stockholm):
"Blood-brain barrier heterogeneity revealed by single cell transcriptomics"
Darlene A. Dartt is Professor at Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, and has received several research awards and trained numerous scientists at Harvard Medical School, including several from Norway. She has been Director of Scientific Affairs at Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School for ten years. Dartt has much experience in the culture of conjunctival, oral mucosal, lacrimal and salivary cells. She has supervised numerous Norwegian scientists, including two PhD-candidates at the Department of Oral Biology, University of Oslo.
Abstract: Inflammasomes are relatively newly recognized macromolecular complexes active in innate immune responses. They help protect cells from infectious agents, but sometimes cause cell damage. We have shown that the NLRP3 inflammasome is present in goblet cells of moist membranes such as the conjunctiva of the eye and the oral mucosa. We discovered that mucosal toxigenic gram positive bacteria bind to toll-like receptors on goblet cells and activate the inflammasome to produce the cytokine IL-1beta. This cytokine calls in neutrophils to help destroy the bacteria. These mechanisms are important in allergy, inflammatory diseases, and bacterial infection of the mucous membranes.
Michael Vanlandewijck is Assistant Professor and Head of the single cell sequencing core facility at the Integrated Cardio and Metabolic Centre (ICMC), Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. He is also Researcher at The Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology (IGP), Uppsala University, Uppsala. He graduated 2004 in Biomedical Science at the University of Leuven (KUL) and obtained PhD training in the Ludwig Institute for Cancer research (LICR), Uppsala, and postdoctoral training in Stockholm and Uppsala.
Abstract: Cerebrovascular disease is the third most common cause of death in developed countries, yet our understanding of the cells that make the cerebral vasculature is limited. Here, using large-scale analysis of vascular single cell transcriptomes, we provide molecular definitions to the principal blood vascular and vessel-associated cell types in the adult mouse brain. We uncover the transcriptional basis for the gradual phenotypic change (zonation) that occurs along the arterio-venous (A-V) axis in the two major vascular cell types – endothelial and mural cells – and reveal unexpected differences between them: a seamless endothelial continuum, as opposed to a punctuated mural continuum. The latter reflects two distinct mural cell groups comprising arterial/arteriolar smooth muscle cells, and pericytes/venous smooth muscle cells, respectively. Brain pericytes are highly homogenous, but a comparison between brain and lung reveals significant pericyte organotypicity. We also define a population of perivascular fibroblast-like cells that form a previously unrecognized adventitial layer in the brain vasculature. These cells are distinct from mural cells, occur on all vessel types except capillaries and provide distinct anatomical landmarks at the arteriolar-capillary and capillary-venular borders.