Control of peritoneal macrophage phenotype by microRNAs

Background

Peritoneal fibrosis is a major cause of treatment failure in peritoneal dialysis, which is linked to repeat episodes of infection-driven peritoneal inflammation.  Macrophages are a heterogeneous population of immune cells essential for response to infection, inflammation, and are implicated in tissue repair and fibrosis.  My research highlights the importance of microRNAs in the regulation of peritoneal macrophage phenotype.  microRNAs are post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression that play fundamental roles in regulation of cellular phenotype.  I have defined the microRNA expression profiles of the peritoneal macrophage subpopulations and identified specific dysregulated microRNAs in peritoneal fibrosis. I have developed lentiviral techniques to manipulate specific microRNA expression in vitro and in vivo to determine the precise function in macrophage inflammatory response.  The continuation of this research has the potential to improve peritoneal dialysis patient outcomes by 1) development of diagnostic microRNA biomarkers predictive of treatment failure and 2) therapeutic interventions to prevent peritoneal fibrosi

 

Research aims:

1. Define macrophage microRNA expression profiles in peritoneal fibrosis

2. Determine the functions/targets of specific macrophage microRNAs

3. Identification of therapeutic targets for prevention of peritoneal fibrosis

 

Dr Robert H Jenkins

jenkinsrh2@cardiff.ac.uk

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