Ongoing Research Funded by DHF

Immune Cell Memory Markers Identify Food Triggers in Eosinophilic Esophagitis

2021  | Disease: Esophageal DiseasesEosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Principal Researcher: Joshua Wechsler, MD

Co-Principal Researcher: Ikuo Hirano, M.D. | 

Principal Investigator: Joshua Wechsler, MD

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergic inflammatory disease of the esophagus. Specific foods can trigger esophageal inflammation leading to pain, difficulty swallowing and malnutrition. Elimination diets remain a mainstay for identifying triggers since effective biomarkers or testing are currently nonexistent in this chronic disease. Previous work of Dr. Wechsler’s team revealed an immune response of white blood cells (T-cell receptors) in patients with active EoE who underwent rigorous dietary elimination and reintroduction regimens. Pursuing this promising line of research, Dr. Wechsler intends to examine esophageal biopsies for evidence of the specific immune response of white blood cells to specific foods. The investigators will use deep sequencing of the T-lymphocyte receptor to identify how frequently certain types of T-cells exist between adults with similar and unique food triggers. Findings from this study could open the door to building a digital library of T-cell receptors that identify specific foods and allow for more personalized therapy.

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