The mission of our laboratory is to understand the distinct patterns of immune responses that occur in the liver. Liver is exposed to bacterial products from the intestine, and these modulate T lymphocyte adhesion as well as priming and differentiation. In the liver, multiple antigen-presenting cell populations can activate naive T cells, but the outcome is often immune tolerance. By learning the rules of immunity in this unusual environment, we can contribute to T cell biology, and to the development of immunotherapy and vaccines.
The Crispe lab has expertise in cellular immunology with an emphasis on T cell biology and innate immunity. Our specialized skills include the dissociation of the liver in situ, and the isolation of highly purified subsets of liver resident hepatocytes,non-parenchymal cells and leukocytes using density gradient centrifugation and fluorescence activated cell sorting. We employ inbred, congenic, transgenic and gene-targeted mice to define the role of elements of the host immune systems, and make novel AAV-based replication defective vectors as antigen delivery vehicles. We have expertise in flow cytometric analysis, and also use microscopy, immunochemistry, PCR and gene array approaches. The lab uses simplified models of liver infection, but also malaria parasites to study immunity to hepatocellular antigens. Through collaboration, we work on human liver cells, particularly Kupffer cells, and on genetically-altered malaria parasites. We have also used experimental orthotopic liver transplantation to identify distinctive features of the hepatic immune environment. In addition to basic immunology, we research mechanisms of T cell-driven liver injury in acute and chronic settings.
Copyright © 2003-2013 Molecular & Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington
Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center | University of Washington
Institute for Systems Biology | Seattle Biomed