Research

Gut Immunity and Microbiota

Dr. Fu has been studying the lymphotoxin pathway for 18 years and has also extensive experience in gut immunity and colitis. We have generated various conditional KO mice for LTβR pathway, LTβR-Ig, anti-LTβ antibody, anti-LTβR antibody. Our team has published more than 40 papers showing the various roles of LIGHT and LTβR pathway in both innate and adaptive immunity. LIGHT and IL23 play key roles in IBD.

Recently, we have also been exploring the role of gut flora and innate lymphoid cells in various diseases, including various form of colitis, diet-induced obesity and microbiota-related cancer immunology. Major but intriguing questions in this field are: 1) whether and how the obese microbiome evolves or contributes to the diseases is unclear; 2) whether high fat diet (HFD) induced obesity and type II diabetes (TIID) depends on not only microbiota but also gut innate immunity; and 3) whether it is possible to map a unique innate pathway essential for diet induced obesity (DIO)/TIID as so many innate pathways can be activated by microbiota and HFD. We have developed models to address those questions.

Our preliminary results strongly suggest that LT pathway is essential for DIO and type II diabetes. Our new approach has opened new field in addressing the mechanism of gut innate response to HFD, DIO and TIID.