Antigen Presentation Research Group (APRG)
Headed by Professor Stella C. Knight, the Antigen Presentation Research Group (APRG) operates at the interface between laboratory research and clinical medicine.
Working from a strong basic immunological science platform, the APRG studies:
- dendritic cells and dendritic cell interactions
- developing understanding of the mechanisms of human disease
- developing and testing novel therapies
Based on the Northwick Park and St. Mark's site of the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, the symbiotic relationship between laboratory research and clinical medicine allows the APRG to provide hands on training for doctors to become scientists by gaining MD and PhD degrees.
Our key research
We are currently also working in collaboration with the Institute of Food Research (IFR) and the University of East Anglia (UEA) on the Gut Health and Food Safety research programe which provides new, fundamental information on how the Gut functions and protects itself against invading microorganisms.
Towards a Healthy GI-tract?
The ‘Towards a Healthy GI-tract’ research theme draws together expertise at IFR, UEA and Imperial College London in experimental and human mucosal immunology and epithelial cell biology, mucin glycobiology and the molecular biology, physiology and ecology of commensal gut bacteria. It is aimed at providing fundamental insights into how GI-tract homeostasis, barrier function and microbial tolerance is established and maintained throughout life.
Selected Recent Publications
Mann E.R., McCarthy N.E., Peake S.T., Milestone A.N., Al-Hassi H.O., Bernardo D., Tee C.T., Landy J., Pitcher M.C., Cochrane S.A., Hart A.L., Stagg A.J., & Knight S.C. (2012) Skin- and gut-homing molecules on human circulating gammadelta T cells and their dysregulation in inflammatory bowel disease. Clin.Exp.Immunol 170, 122-130.
Mann E.R., Bernardo D., Al-Hassi H.O., English N.R., Clark S.K., McCarthy N.E., Milestone A.N., Cochrane S.A., Hart A.L., Stagg A.J., & Knight S.C. (2012) Human gut-specific homeostatic dendritic cells are generated from blood precursors by the gut microenvironment. Inflamm.Bowel Dis. 18 (7), 1275-1286.
Bernardo D., Vallejo-Diez S., Mann E.R., Al-Hassi H.O., Martinez-Abad B., Montalvillo E., Tee C.T., Murugananthan A.U., Nunez H., Peake S.T., Hart A.L., Fernandez-Salazar L., Garrote J.A., Arranz E., & Knight S.C. (2012) IL-6 promotes immune responses in human ulcerative colitis and induces a skin-homing phenotype in the dendritic cells and Tcells they stimulate. European Journal of Immunology 42, 1337-1353.
Bernardo D., Sanchez B., Al-Hassi H.O., Mann E.R., Urdaci M.C., Knight S.C., & Margolles A. (2012) Microbiota/Host Crosstalk Biomarkers: Regulatory Response of Human Intestinal Dendritic Cells Exposed to Lactobacillus Extracellular Encrypted Peptide. PLoS.One. 7, e36262.
Bernardo D, Al-Hassi HO, Mann ER, Tee CT, Murugananthan AU, Peake ST et al. (2012) T-cell proliferation and forkhead box P3 expression in human T cells are dependent on T-cell density: physics of a confined space? Hum Immunol 73(3), 223-231.
Benjamin J.L., Hedin C.R., Koutsoumpas A., Ng S.C., McCarthy N.E., Prescott N.J., Pessoa-Lopes P., Mathew C.G., Sanderson J., Hart A.L., Kamm M.A., Knight S.C., Forbes A., Stagg A.J., Lindsay J.O., & Whelan K. (2012) Smokers with active Crohn's disease have a clinically relevant dysbiosis of the gastrointestinal microbiota. Inflamm.Bowel Dis. 18 (6), 1092-1100.
Ng SC, Benjamin JL, McCarthy NE, Hedin CR, Koutsoumpas A, Plamondon S et al. (2011) Relationship between human intestinal dendritic cells, gut microbiota, and disease activity in Crohn's disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis 17(10), 2027-2037.
Benjamin JL, Hedin CR, Koutsoumpas A, Ng SC, McCarthy NE, Hart AL et al. (2011) Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of fructo-oligosaccharides in active Crohn's disease. Gut 60, 923-929.
Herber DL, Cao W, Nefedova Y, et al. (2010) Lipid accumulation and dendritic cell dysfunction in cancer. Nature Med 16, 880-U57.
Ng SC, Plamondon S, Kamm MA, et al. (2010) Immunosuppressive effects via human intestinal dendritic cells of probiotic bacteria and steroids in the treatment of acute ulcerative colitis. Inflamm Bowel Dis 16,1286-98.
Price CL, Al Hassi HO, English NR, Blakemore AI, Stagg AJ, Knight SC. (2009) Methylglyoxal modulates immune responses: relevance to diabetes. J Cell Mol Med 6B, 1806-15.
Knight SC. (2008) Specialized perinodal fat fuels and fashions immunity. Immunity 28, 135-8.
The Antigen Presentation Research Group are grateful for financial support provided by:
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
- North West London Hospitals NHS Trust
- Association for International Cancer Research
- St. Marks Hospital Foundation
- The Broad Foundations
- The Brigid Balfour Memorial Fund