Rodrigo A. Fuentealba

Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de los Andes, Chile


Recent studies have shown that, besides its extensive use in regenerative medicine, mesenchymal stem cells (MSC)also play a regulatory role in the immunological system. My research aims to understand molecular mechanisms behind the MSC-mediated inhibition of the immune system. Particularly, we are interested in defining a role for the neurotransmitter GABA in the immunomodulatory role of MSC. We have hypothesized that GABAergic signaling promotes (1) inhibition of proinflammatory T helper lymphocytes, and (2) increase of immunosuppressive, regulatory T cells. Furthermore, we are currently investigating gene expression regulation for the GABA biosynthetic enzyme GAD and for GABA receptor subunits in T cells and MSC. The establishment of active GABA signaling in the immune system will allow us to explore new cell-based therapies using MSC and GAD for autoimmune diseases.

Biography Updated on 3 March 2015

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