The research efforts of the Liu Laboratory focus on neuroimmune interactions in central nervous system (CNS) injury and repair. The goal of this research is to understand immunological basis of neurological disorders and develop novel therapies.
Recently, we have shown that the homing and activation of lymphocytes into the brain are dictated by factors produced by ischemic neurons, and that infiltrating lymphocytes contribute to the death of ischemic neurons. We have established a novel approach for sequential monitoring of infiltrating lymphocytes during brain ischemia using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and have used genetic approaches to manipulate the neurogenic signals received by lymphocytes after brain ischemia. We have reported the therapeutic efficacy of immune modulations in stroke and reviewed the recent progress of immune interventions in stroke. We also study the reciprocal interactions between neural stem cells and lymphocytes, and have reported the impact of brain-infiltrating lymphocytes on neurorepair after injury.
Moving forward, our goal is to understand the immunological basis for stroke and determine the translational value of immune modulation in stroke. Results from these projects will advance the understanding of key neuroimmune interactions and may allow tailored design of strategies for immune intervention as viable approaches to benefit stroke patients.