Jenny Hallgren Martinsson research group
Mast cells and their progenitors in asthma and respiratory virus infections
Mast cells are rare immune cells, which upon activation cause powerful physiological effects in the body. In airway diseases such as asthma, mast cells become activated and contribute to the symptoms through their release of pro-inflammatory mediators. In the airways of patients with allergic asthma, mast cell numbers are increased and they can therefore release even more harmful mediators. The increase in lung mast cells in in vivo-models of airway inflammation and possibly in human disease is preceded by the recruitment of mast cell progenitors from the blood to the lung, some of which mature into mast cells.
The focus of our research is to dissect the mechanisms of recruitment of mast cell progenitors to the lung, and their localization and maturation using in vivo models of airway diseases. We are also studying the role of mast cells and their progenitors on specific features of airway disease such as decline in lung function. Furthermore, in collaboration with Uppsala University hospital we analyze patient material to translate our findings in vivo to the human disease.