Research Areas

Department of
Immunology
Representative:
Professor Katsuyuki Yui
Immunology
Outline
T cells are the major effector and regulatory cells that specifically recognize antigens and play critical roles for the development or prevention of diseases such as autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, allergy and cancer.

The focus of our research is the regulation of T cell immune responses during chronic infection such as malaria. We discovered that IL-27-producing regulatory CD4+ T cells are induced in rodent model of malaria infection, and named these cells as Tr27 cells (Kimura et al., Immunity, 2016). Tr27 cells are antigen specific foxp3- unique regulatory cells that are distinct from foxp3+ regulatory T cells, and inhibit activation and clonal expansion of T cells during infection.

We are studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the induction of Tr27 cells during malaria infection, and the role of Tr27 cells in the regulation of protective immunity and pathogenesis of chronic infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.

We are also interested in the effector mechanisms of CD8+ T cells that are responsible for the protection during the liver-stage of malaria infection. For this study, we perform intravital imaging of the interaction between immune cells and pathogens using two-photon microscopy.

In the third project, we are involved in the international collaboration with groups of researchers in Germany and United Kingdom for the development of DNA vaccine targeted to T-cell immune responses against cutaneous leishmaniasis.