Dr. Michael R. Blackburn
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- Molecular mechanism of lung inflammation and damage
- Macrophage biology
- Fibroblast activation
- Mucous cell metaplasia
- Mouse molecular genetics
Inflammatory and remodeling responses are prominent features of chronic lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary fibrosis. The major goal of my laboratory is to identify pathways that regulate the chronicity of these diseases with the intent of developing novel therapeutic strategies.
A central hypothesis of my laboratory is that the signaling nucleoside adenosine is an amplifier of lung inflammation and damage. Adenosine is generated in response to cell stress or damage and is therefore a byproduct of the inflammation and damage set up by any number of initiators of lung inflammation.
Graduate student projects in my laboratory focus on understanding the mechanisms by which adenosine receptor signaling influences the activities of cells in the context of lung inflammation and remodeling. We make extensive use of genetically modified mice to examine the role of adenosine signaling in chronic lung disease. This includes knockout mice deficient in enzymes of adenosine metabolism and knockout mice deficient in the various adenosine receptors. In addition, we utilize transgenic mice that over express components of adenosine signaling specifically in the lung. With these genetic tools we can assess the contribution of specific aspects of adenosine signaling in chronic lung diseases in the context of the whole animal.
Mohsenin A, Burdick MD, Molina JG, Keane MP, Blackburn MR (2007) Adenosine mediated CXCL1 production and angiogenesis in the lungs of adenosine deaminase deficient mice. FASEB J. 21, 1026-1036.
Volmer JB, Thompson LF, Blackburn MR (2006) A protective role for ecto-5’-nucleotidase (CD73) in bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. J. Immunol. 176, 4449-4458.
Sun CX, Zhong H, Mohsenin A, Morschl E, Chunn JL, Molina JG, Belardinelli L, Zeng D, Blackburn MR (2006) Role of A2B adenosine receptor signaling in adenosine-dependent pulmonary inflammation and injury in adenosine deaminase deficient mice. J. Clin. Invest. 116,2173-2182.
Sun C-X, Young HW, Molina JG, Volmer JB, Schnermann J, Blackburn MR (2005) A protective role for the A1 adenosine receptor in adenosine-dependent pulmonary injury. J. Clin. Invest. 115, 35-43.