Research Group

  • Dr Li Zhang, Principal Investigator


  • University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA


  • Integrin Mac-1 on Antigen-Presenting Cells Is Key to the Development of Peripheral Immune Tolerance

Organ rejection remains the major risk for patients with organ transplantation. Non-specific suppression of the immune system by drugs like cyclosporine, though very effective, does cause many complications, which adversely affect the quality-of-life of transplant recipients. In this regard, antigen-specific immune tolerance has a great potential in clinical settings to improve the quality-of-life of patients with transplantation and promote the survival of the transplanted organs.

The long-term goal of the proposed study is to understand the mechanism that differentially controls antigen-specific immune activation versus immune suppression. Specific to this application, we propose to study the role of a major surface molecule (termed integrin Mac-1) on antigen-presenting cells in the development of antigen-specific peripheral tolerance. Completion of this project will provide important information regarding the role of this important molecule in the development of antigen-specific immune tolerance. Delineation of the molecular processes required for generation of antigen-specific immune suppression may offer novel therapeutic targets for enhancing immune suppression that will be beneficial to organ transplantation, and prolong the survival of the transplanted organs.