Research Project: Lymphatic Endothelial Cell Crosstalk in Tertiary Lymphoid Organ Formation and Lung Injury
basic biologic mechanisms
pulmonary vascular disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects over 14 million individuals in the U.S and is the fourth leading cause of death. Cigarette smoke is the most common cause of this disease. However, underlying factors that determine why some individuals develop progressive COPD while others do not is not fully understood. The lung lymphatic vessels are a completely separate drainage system from blood vessels but play an important role in lung function. We have previously found that the lymphatic vessels are damaged in COPD, using both human tissue and animal models of this disease. We will determine the mechanisms by which the lung lymphatics affect the development of COPD after cigarette smoke exposure through interactions with the immune system.