Mabel Green Myers Professor, Medicine, Rheumatology Division; Feinberg School of Medicine
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Macrophages are critical to the regulation of a variety of cancers. The research in our laboratory focuses on the mechanisms that regulate macrophage differentiation and activition. We have recently shown that the deletion of the anti-apoptotic gene FLIP in macrophages, results in a marked reduction of macrophages in the spleen, lymph nodes and peritoneal space. This results in a marked disorganization of lymph nodes and spleen, a marked increase of neutrophils in the circulation and tissues. When FLIP was deleted, precursor cells were incapable of differentiating into macrophages. These observations suggest that FLIP may a target to regulate macrophage cell numbers in maligancy and inflammatory diseases. Additionally our laboratory is examing the role of endogous Toll like receptor ligands in the activation of macrophages. Endogenous Toll like receptor ligands may be import in chronic inflammatory diseases and malignancy.