The innate immune system is the first line of host defense against external exposures. During these initial encounters, antigen presenting cells - specifically monocytes and macrophages - modulate further inflammatory responses. Macrophages exist along a spectrum of phenotypic programs; on the inflammatory M1 end they enhance immune activity while on the anti-inflammatory M2 end they suppress further immune activation. Furthermore, within M2 macrophages there exist many subpopulations, namely M2a and M2d, each with specific roles during infection or exposure. We sought to compare the epigenetic profiles of these subpopulations of macrophages to determine key regulatory gene networks and factors that could be exploited for therapeutic benefit.While traditionally viewed as primitive and nonspecific, a growing body of clinical and experimental evidence argues the innate immune system develops memory as a result of previous exposures, allowing the innate system to respond with enhanced and broad immunological protection upon exposure to a secondary stimulus. This biological process of innate immunity has been termed trained immunity. Trained immunity shares many phenotypic and epigenetic characteristics with adaptive immune memory; however, one of the starkest distinctions is the propensity of trained immunity to develop against heterologous stimuli. Innate memory is not antigen specific, frequently protecting the host against unrelated organisms.
College and Department
Life Sciences; Microbiology and Molecular Biology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Adams, Kevin Douglas, "Innate Immune Cell Phenotypes Are Dictated by Distinct Epigenetic Reprogramming" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 7700.
monocytes, macrophages, epigenetics, trained immunity