Northwestern University

Mon 12:00 PM

Dr. Sundararajan Jayaraman: Pharmacological inhibition of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis: Insights into epigenetic mechanisms

When: Monday, January 8, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Sky Lobby Auditorium, 10th floor, 355 E. Erie, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Tommi Raij, MD, PhD   312.238.4401

Group: Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Research Seminar Series

Category: Lectures & Meetings



Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the brain and spinal cord caused by infiltrating myelin-reactive T lymphocytes and innate immune cells. Whereas currently available broad-spectrum immunomodulatory drugs reduce relapses, treatments specifically for primary and secondary progressive MS are an unmet need. We have demonstrated that administration of an antibiotic possessing histone-modifying activity conferred robust, irreversible protection against progressive MS-like disease in a mouse model. Drug-induced histone modification led to discrete changes including differential gene expression in the peripheral lymphoid compartment as well as the central nervous system. Quite surprisingly, the histone modifier also altered the composition of the gut microbiota, providing credence to the hypothesis that the gut-brain-axis may impact neuronal health status. Thus, a better understanding of the epigenomic landscape under pathological conditions is an important step toward designing novel therapeutic modalities for MS and other similar neuronal diseases.



Dr. Sundararajan Jayaraman received his PhD in immunology at the Madurai Kamaraj University, India, in 1977. He received postdoctoral training in Saint Louis University and Harvard University. He is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, University of Illinois at Peoria, IL. His major research interest has been immunoregulatory mechanisms involved in pathological conditions including autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. He has analyzed the transcriptome, expression profiling of non-coding microRNAs, and DNA methylation patterns in preclinical models, patient materials and tumor cell lines. The impact of the gut microbiota on autoimmune diseases and its alteration due to epigenetic drug treatment in preclinical models is the current focus. These multifaceted studies are aimed for a better understanding of the underlying pathological mechanisms and identification of molecular targets to develop novel drugs for autoimmune disorders.


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