Principal Investigator: Marie-Pier Tétreault, PhD
The epithelial lining of the esophagus serves as the first line of defense to protect the underlying tissue from various external insults. Upon injury and inflammation, a rapid and efficient restoration of the esophageal epithelial barrier is needed. Failure to restore this barrier ultimately leads to pathological consequences. To date, most studies of inflammation have focused in immune cells because they are the paradigmatic inflammatory cell type. Yet immune cells are not the only cell type involved in inflammation and immunity. Epithelial cells sense and initiate inflammation, and also play a key role in the production of inflammatory molecules. It still remains unclear, though, how epithelial cells contribute to inflammation in patients with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE). The investigators will determine how epithelial cells control inflammation and
fibrosis in eosinophilic esophagitis. The Tétreault laboratory will also test how blocking mediators of inflammation can prevent the development and progression of EoE.